Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

As a coach I get to listen to a lot of people sharing their innermost secrets about a lot of things. It is one of the things I am the most grateful for with my job, because it gives me so much perspective. It quickly became very clear to me that even though we practically live in the same world, we don’t perceive it in the same way. At all.

Instead we base our idea of the so called reality on our very personal experiences. It makes sense actually, if something happened in a certain way the first ten times around, it’s reasonable to expect it will keep happening. But just because something happened in the past doesn’t mean it will in the present, or in the future. Things can and do change.

infinite-903459_1280A curious thing is that for someone else another thing happens every time in that same situation. Same situation, different outcome. (Practical example: Everyone I date just want to be my friend vs Everyone I date just want to sleep with me).

Every single one of my clients come to me with a very firm idea of how things are – it’s just that they all say different things and contradict each other! We all have very different ideas of how the world works, even though we live in the same world. Obviously our “maps” of the world are very subjective.

This means that when someone tells you something about men, women, dating, attraction, love, relationships or life in general, they are sharing their version of it. They share the conclusion they made from their very personal experiences. They probably won’t present it like that, but rather as a straight fact, but be aware and careful about who you listen to, and where their information is coming from.

And as a bonus, this also goes for your own thoughts! They are also very likely to sound like truths, but are very biased from your experiences and expectations, and not necessarily objective truths.

That is why I always give my coaching clients practical assignments where I challenge them to do things i new ways. Because if we base our knowledge of the world on our experiences, new experiences will change how we see the world, which in turn, will make us behave differently and create new experiences. Tadaa!

Protection of the tender heart

heart in the darkMany of us learn at an early age that intimacy, vulnerability and closeness can hurt, and it seems like the power to hurt is in everybody else’s hands. This might not even be true, but if this is how it feels, we will integrate it as the truth, and do what we can to protect ourselves.

We – consciously or unconsciously – start putting up walls, create intricate strategies to keep people at a safe distance and stay safe. They may not be the most effective or sophisticated ways of protection (they were created by a child, after all) but it’s the best you’ve got.

For a period of time, maybe until you move away from your parents or leave high school if that’s when the pattern started, these walls and strategies serve a purpose. The thing is that when the (real or perceived) danger is over, we tend to keep the walls up, because we aren’t even aware they are there.

The problem with protecting your heart from hurt is that you at the same time “protect” it from love, intimacy and closeness. This makes many of us end up as lonely adults with child made walls around our hearts that keep people from coming close. Even if we are unaware of it, the walls will keep doing their job, and you will wonder why your love life feels like a constant struggle.

Realizing what kind of protections you still have around your heart will make everything make much more sense, and then there is the work of putting the wall down. And yes, since you put them up you are the only one who can tear them down. Also, it is not up to someone else to come through, put down or jump over your walls (and if they did it would scare the crap out of you!). Your wall is your responsibility.

The process of seeing the wall, and start to change the strategies that keeps it is challenging, but also the most rewarding thing you can do. On the other side of your wall is LOVE. CONNECTION. FRIENDSHIP. RELATIONSHIPS. INTIMACY. JOY.

It is indeed a big change to not only stop doing the things that keep people at a distance but also start inviting people in, but it will be the most important change that you make, and I am here to guide you along the way.

Are you a match?



We all have a very human need for love and connection. It is one of our greatest needs and motivators, and the fear of not having it, or losing it, creates great pain. Therefore, we are usually willing to do a lot of adjusting to not feel left out.

The problem is that that doesn’t really work. If you want to feel love, connection and belonging, vulnerability and authenticity is completely neccessary. If you are not being you, you won’t feel that connection because others are connecting with something that isn’t really you.

The connection you long for goes both ways. It’s not all about finding acceptance from others, you need to like and respect them too. Not just anybody can be your best friend, partner or even acquaintance. You need to know what kind of qualities you like in people, meetings and relationships, and then go out and find it! And let me tell you, your authenticity is key for that! When you know who you want to be and who you want to meet, you will simply see if there is a match when you meet a new person, rather than trying to gauge if they like you.

Instead of feeling rejected if if doesn’t work out, you’ll just see that you and them want different things, and that’s totally fine. There is a huge release and freedom in letting other people be as they are, as well as yourself.


You vs everyone else

i-am-461804_640The one person you know for sure you will have a relationship with for the rest of your life is – you.

No matter how hard you try, you will never get away from yourself. You will always see yourself in the mirror, you will be there for all the ups and downs, and wherever you go, there you are.

When this insight sinks in it becomes very clear that how you treat yourself is one of the most important things in life. You will always have to live with your own decisions, hear your own thoughts and live in your own body.

Considering how much we are willing to do for other people we care about, even though we will at best share a part of our lives with them, isn’t it strange how badly we are often willing to treat ourselves? Let’s change that. You can’t get rid of yourself, but you can start appreciating yourself and, if you like, become the most awesome version of you possible.

One of the biggest self-help clichés is “love yourself”. Well sure, but how the heck do you do it? Let’s turn it around for a  moment. Think about someone you love who isn’t you. What do you do to love them? This question made me laugh the first time I heard it because loving the people I love doesn’t feel like a task I can describe or practice or put down on a to-do-list. I just love them.

If self-love doesn’t come as easily one way to make it more concrete is to look at how you think about, talk to and behave towards the people you love, and compare it to how you think about, talk to and behave towards yourself. Is it similar or is there a difference?

If you find that you treat others better than yourself, I invite you to write a list of the loving things you do for others (comforting instead of blaming them when things go wrong, showing them appreciation through kind words, gifts and support, speaking up if someone treats them bad etc) and start doing that for yourself.

It’s probably just me, but…


Pretty much every person that I meet in a coaching session start telling their story by explaining how they are probably very different and unusual for having their problems. I find this very interesting.

We all seem to share so much, but without realizing it, and it makes me sad. Because for me as a coach it becomes very clear how much we have in common, but also how we think that we are alone…

The specifics differ, but the emotions are so similar. We all have our own unique insecurities, backstories and fears, but if we only shared them with each other the shame and feelings of being different or weird would disappear.

One of the things that I say the most often when I coach is “I hear this all the time”. Or “I recognize what you’re saying, from my own life and from other clients.” And “It’s not just you”. Because it’s never just you.

Feeling stuck in the single zone, not being confident enough to flirt, or not even knowing how to flirt, it’s so very common. And it’s pretty easy to change – if we speak up about it and realize that it’s a learnable social skill like any other.

There is nothing wrong with you, you’re just doing something that’s not working the way you want it to. Millions of others experience the same thing in their love lives, and it’s no wonder! No one teaches us how to flirt well or create working and fulfilling relationships. Some people have good role models, are naturally outgoing and flirty or simply lucky, but what about the rest of us? Well, we learn what we need to know and practice it until it works.

I know it may seem unfair, but another pattern that I see very clearly is that my clients simply have their strengths somewhere else. They are usually very skilled and successful in another life domain, like work, sports or friendship. Things that they usually take for granted and are totally unaware makes others jealous of them…

Another reason for lack of flirting skills or experience is that life has simply been hard. A lot of people spend their childhood, teenage years and/or young adulthood struggling with family problems, bullying, sickness and other hardships that put the focus on flirting a bit further down on the priority list, or even makes it impossible for them to try… They are simply busy surviving. But it’s never too late. You are an adult now, and you are no longer the person you used to be or restricted by others. If you want it to go out and get it, the world is yours.

And I’m glad to help you.

When life hits you right in the feelings

Skärmavbild 2015-07-08 kl. 12.16.29I know, dating can indeed be an emotional roller coaster. A big one. With huge highs and lows, and sudden stops, turns and loops. It’s easy to get dizzy sometimes, especially if you are not used to, or comfortable with, strong emotions.

Many of us live calm, or maybe stressed, but often at least pretty controlled lives, lead by our intellect. Many of my clients are used to understanding what’s going on, staying on schedule and taking care of big and challenging projects in their lives and careers. They are very skilled at what they do and completely at home in the world of the intellect, thought, logic and business. Unfortunately this doesn’t help them very much in their love lives.

It’s two completely different parts of life that require completely different skills. If you only have one kind of skills and try to use them “on the other side”, it’s kind of like trying to use a hammer when you need a saw. It doesn’t matter how nice your hammer is, or how many you have, or how hard you hit. You need a saw.

And trying to use your intellect to deal with your emotions is like using the hammer to saw. Your emotions don’t need to be analyzed or explained, or removed. They need to be felt. That’s it. It may sound simple, but someone who has learned to excel in the world of thought and intellect many times have done so to overcompensate for a lack of emotional skill. Maybe some emotions, or all of them, were not encouraged or even accepted in their family, maybe no one thought them how to handle their emotions (it’s a skill, as you remember) or maybe they someway along the path of life decided it hurts to much and started avoiding everything that involves emotional risk, such as love.

Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, your emotions won’t leave you alone. They will haunt you and nag at you until you give them their full attention. And then they will leave.

That’s the irony. I spent so much effort trying to avoid my emotions, but when I learned how to feel them, I realized it was quite effortless. At least in comparison. It sure was uncomfortable, sometimes even painful, but oh how sweet it is when a negativa feeling leaves the body – and is does as soon as I give it my full attention. Which was, paradoxically, the only thing I was not willing to do before to, so I did everything else but that.

And as we all know, doing everything but the one thing that works, is pretty exhausting…

Same same but different


I did a radio interview recently where the radio host asked be about similarities vs differences when looking for a partner. Should we try to meet someone who is similar to us or different from us?

My answer is yes. Yes to both, because it will strengthen the relationship in two different ways.

The similarities between you and your partner will create a foundation where you can connect, feel safe, understand and be understood. It’s also practical to share values and life goals (if only one of you want to have children or live part time abroad it’s definitely a challenge).

But then we also have the truth of opposites attract. Your differences, and the polarity between you will create attraction, playfulness, excitement, sexual tension and flirtatious connection.

The thing is that we want both of these opposing qualities in our relationships. We want to feel safe but not bored. We want deep friendship and interesting conversations and hot sex and passion. We want to feel excitement, but not fear.

If we only have (or know how to create) one or the other we end up with a friend or a lover. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that either, if it’s what you want.

But if it’s not, you need to understand the importance of creating both safety and excitement with the other person.

“What should I do?”

shield-492987_1280One question that I get asked a lot, when someone has told be about their current situation and would like some help and advice is: what should I do?

I always respond with another question, like what do you want to do?

Because even though I gladly help my friends and clients with coaching and sometimes even advice, there is no point in me sharing that until I know what is important and feels right to this specific person.

It’s like asking for driving directions without knowing where you are going.

– Should I turn right or left?
– Well that depends on where you want to go. And what kind of route you like. Do you want to get there fast or take the scenic route? Are you even driving in the right direction right now?

What I find interesting is how common it is to lose touch with yourself when you start to get involved with someone else. When I ask people what they would like to do, or how they would like the situation to turn out, surprisingly many haven’t really thought about that. And of course, it’s much more practical to ask someone and get a “right answer”. Unfortunately (and luckily, I would add), there are no right answers for your love life. You need to figure out what is important to you, and act accordingly.

And a good start is letting the question what do I want to do? come before what should I do?

Can you see what you are looking for?

A friend once pointed out something interesting to me. I was complaining about the things that were going on in my love life, or rather not going on. I felt invisible and ignored by men and really wanted to meet more men that I appreciated and who appreciated me.

After an evening of talking about life, love and relationships my friend started to see a pattern in what I was saying and frankly told me that I was in fact meeting a lot of men who did appreciate me but that I for some reason not only failed to appreciate them but even failed to see that they were in my life! For me it really felt like I wasn’t meeting any men, when no less than 3 men had shown clear interest in me just during the last week.

So what was going on here? I’m obviously not literally blind, so why couldn’t I see what was right in front of my eyes (and occasionally even in my bed!)?

Skärmavbild 2015-06-02 kl. 19.29.23

When I thought about it I realized that I had a pattern of thinking that compliments, invites, flirts and even whole men “didn’t count”.

I’d think: “sure, he said I looked nice and that he really enjoyed spending time with me but I’m sure he was just being polite.”

Or: “I’m sure he flirts with all women like this, it has nothing to do with me, it’s just the way he is.”

And even: “well, he probably just wanted to see me tonight because the 3 more interesting women he asked before me were busy.”

For real! I’d think these things for real! No wonder I never felt chosen, appreciated or flirted with  – but it had nothing to do with the men. They could flirt with me in all kinds of obvious ways and I’d still find a way to disregard it.

And of course it was no fun to flirt with me when I didn’t take it seriously or even noticed it. Of course they thought I wasn’t interested or available and moved on. But when they did I could suddenly see very clearly, that was living proof that men didn’t choose me…

It was a chock to realize that my head and heart was full of countless excuses that made it impossible for me to feel close to and appreciated by men. But this was of course the unconscious point of these automatic thoughts. I was afraid of vulnerability, taking a chance and losing, or being rejected. And I must admit, disqualifying everything and everyone before it even starts is indeed a very effective way to avoid that. 😉

But the problem with strategies designed to protect our tender hearts is that they also protect them from love and joy and connection. It’s a high price to pay so I decided to take the risk, open my eyes and receive what men wanted to give and share with me. 

And when I did, as you can imagine, everything shifted.

Learn from someone who k n o w s what they are doing

apple-256261_640One of my strongest beliefs in life is that you can learn anything.

You might not be skilled at everything, or even know how some things work, but you always have the possibility to learn. This is certainly true these days when extreme amounts of information about literally everything is available to anyone online.

One of the most common, wise, and effective things to do when you want to learn something new is of course to ask someone who already has that skill. Seems simple enough, right?

There is just one problem. Knowing something is not the same thing as being able to teach it.

This is especially true for things we just do without thinking about it; things that we never consciously learned but just feel are a part of us.

For me one example is writing. Since I’m working as a freelance journalist and blogger, a lot of people come to me for writing advice, and I tell them that I have nothing to teach them because I have no idea how I do it. I just write, without thinking about how or in what way it works. I just hear smart things in my head that I want to share and I write them down.

If you want to learn something from someone, you need a teacher who not only has the skill or knowledge you want, but also is able to share it with you it in a pedagogical way. Preferably someone who themselves had to learn it.

What does this have to do with dating, you ask?

Well, it might seem logical to ask a friend who is more successful and skilled than you in his or her dating life for advice. Obviously they know what they are doing. But are they? Or are they just doing it without knowing just what they are doing that create the results? In many cases this is exactly what is happening. So if you ask them for advice, they will probably say something like “it just happens, I don’t really think about it” or “I’m just being myself and meet nice people”.

They’re not saying this to annoy you, this is in fact their very real experience of how it works. But, and this is important, it might not be the least bit helpful or relatable to you, and that is a problem. Because of course you too have tried “not thinking about it” and “meeting nice people”, but with very different results, right?

If you want to learn something, I strongly suggest that you make sure to find someone to learn from who has in fact thought about it, and can relate to your situation. Most of the time that means someone who has actually had to learn it themselves, because nothing gives you more knowledge about the learning curve than actually having to go through it yourself.

And if you want to learn from your naturally skilled friends, put them in a situation where they are in  their zone of genius and watch what they are doing, rather than ask them about it, cause chances are they have no idea.

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