Alone in the the crowd – connecting in New York

I’m spending the fall in New York and got here just a week ago. It’s very interesting to experience the pulse of the city for a longer period of time and not just be a tourist for a week or two.

Since I’m in no hurry I take  my time to look at people, feel into what they seem to be experiencing within themselves, how they engage with each other and also notice how people are treating me.

When I was here a few years ago someone told me that the problem with dating in NYC is the paradox of simultaneously wanting to be alone and wanting to connect. The city is so loud, crowded and busy that quiet time just for yourself is an extreme luxury.

Most people have roommates, the subway is always full and just walking down the street can seem like an obstacle course. There is people everywhere which creates a yearning for just making everyone get out of your way so you can spend some quality time with yourself.


In the midst of all the crowded city spaces there is also a big loneliness. A strange, counterintuitive loneliness that comes from being in a crowd but connected to no-one. Not even yourself. There is a lot of small talk and people everywhere, but no real connection.

This is not an optimal foundation for love, dating or even friendship. Feeling overcrowded and starved for connection at the same time is a very confusing experience. It is almos like being obese from eating too much junk food and simultaneously being under nourished because your body is, in fact, starved on proper nutrients.

Eating more junk food won’t help; you stay just as hungry. And more shallow socializing wont help either; you keep feeling lonely.

Your heart and soul need nourishing as much as your body does. And just as the under nourished overeater needs to completely shift their diet to feel better so do you. You might need to shift your social diet and start to prioritize the quality of connection over quantity.

What does that mean, you ask? Let me tell you.


The only thing that will make you feel socially “full” and satisfied from meeting new people is to learn the art of real authentic emotional connection.

And yes, it is something you can learn. It just happens to be more or less the opposite of the way we are taught to show up with people.

In order to really connect you need to slow down enough to become aware of your own experience; your experience of being you, so you can share it with others.

And when you’ve learned that you need to become aware of your experience of being with others. That is connection. Not thinking about how they perceive you or what you think about them, no. Experiencing in the moment what it feels like to be present with another person. That is something completely different.

Polite how do you do‘s, endless social media likes or even conversations about interesting stuff won’t help. What you’re longing for is to be truly seen. By someone who’s not in a rush.

Someone whose phone won’t threaten to go off in any moment. Someone who is comfortable enough to be present with the moment and with their own experience, to also be present with you and your experience. Someone who truly listens, understands and who doesn’t judge.

This is literally what I do when I’m coaching someone but it is also what I teach my clients to do with the people in their lives and on their dates. The initial experience when I meet a coaching client in full presence and acceptance is usually a combination of “this feels very strange” and “this feels like home”.

We are so unfamiliar with true connection that often we don’t even know what it is when someone offers it to us. Instead we feel naked and unprotected in the unfamiliarity of vulnerability.

But if you can learn to feel comfortable there, and even create it on purpose in your life…oh, your tender heart will sing and your relationships will flourish.


We are so used to being judged, posing and trying to be liked that we forgot to learn how to truly connect, see and be seen. Which is why, in a city like New York where success is common but time to be present is not, we might see each other more walking like business cards, colleagues, casual flings and maybe even a temporary buoy that could save us from drowning in the see of loneliness for a moment of two.

But that is not love. It is not friendship. It is not connection. It is the social equivalent of junk food. Your belly gets full but your body stays starved.

So how do we shift this? It starts with you. The absolutely most efficient way of finding people who will be present with you and open to creating an authentic connection (romantic or otherwise) is to become one of those people.

It’s actually like learning a new language. If you want more French speaking friends in your life, it’s a very good idea to learn how to speak French, right?

Well, if you want more love and connection in your life it’s a good idea to learn how to create it. If you want me to teach you I’m right here.

Alone in the the crowd – connecting in New York Read More »

Small talk or magic? You decide!

Considering how strongly your idea of the world is shaped by your first years in life, isn’t it a bit strange to think that we all exist in the same physical reality but percieve it in completely different ways?

Some grow up in a loving environment and learned that the world is a safe and wondrous place. That there is always room for trying new things, cause it’s no big deal to fail. That other people are trustworthy and that everything is going to be alright.

Others grow up in a place, family or situation that taught them hold back. Always put other peoples needs before their own to not get abandoned, left out or have bad other things happen to them. Being yourself is unsafe and expressing needs makes others uncomfortable.

And some grew up learning to fight for themselves. Not necessarily in an empowered and confident way but rather because they belive that other people won’t be there for them. If you can’t trust that people will or can help you, you have no choice but to take care of yourself and make sure you get what you need…

Certain people find love, friendship and social situations the easiest things in the world, but might on the other hand doubt their ability to get the dream job, the raise or start a business. Others are the exact opposite and feel very secure in their abilty to create any kind of empire but constantly doubt them selves in social settings and feel unlikeable or unloveable.

We all have our very personal ideas, beliefs and assumptions about how life works, and they can be in stark contrast with each other. However, even though we live in our own unique little worlds, we still have to find some way to  connect, relate and coexist with each other. But how?


If we want to have a chance to meet each other in a true and authentic way I think we first need to understand our underlying views on life and ourselves. Your view on the world will inform your choices, thoughts, actions and decisions, regardless of if you’re aware of it or not.

But it’s only when you became aware of these things that you have the possibility to make your own choices and consciously decide weather or not your old views still hold true. And that’s when really exciting things start to happen! Both in the relationship you have with life and in the relationship you have with other people.

How well you know yourself will, among other things, decide how well other people can get to know you. If you don’t know who you are or how your inner world works, it’s a bit much to ask that someone else should to know you and understand you, isn’t it?

When you’ve familiarized yourself with your unconscious ideas of the world it will get much easier to understand others. You wont have to wonder why they behave the way they do, overanalyze their actions or take it personally when they do something weird. Because you understand that they, too, are driven by their inner assumptions of the world, their fears and their ideas about other people. It usually doesn’t have much to do with you.


The more you learn about your own inner world, the more curious you will be about the inner worlds of other people. Instead of talking about outer circumstances like where they live or work, you’ll be curious about what is going on inside them.

How are they shaped by their experiences? What are they feeling in this exact moment? What are they dreaming about? Struggling with?

And you’ll most likely start feeling inspired to share what is alive, true and important for you with other people to a bigger extent. Now that you know, doesn’t it make sense to share it?

When this is what your dates, meetings and relationships consist of, something really cool will start to happen! You’ll actually be able to connect with each other for real! Then, and only then, will you have the chance to really see, experience and understand each other. That is when it *clicks*, and when the magic happens.

Unfortunately most people have no idea about this but are stuck in a completely different social norm. One that keeps us in the shallow end of connection and consists mostly of small talk, prestige and superficial stuff. It never gets personal och intimate, but rather creates a distance between people. Still, that’s where we tend to end up, so we miss out on the magic.

The good news is that you get to choose exactly what you talk to people about! Isn’t that just awesome?

In no way are you required to follow the stiff norm and do the polite fact exchange with people you meet! In fact, it will give you social superpowers if you don’t! The very norm of small talks makes a lot of people really long for real things and be truly seen. So be the person that lets them do that!

It will give you work advantages, deepen your friendships, make your life more truthful and last but not least make your dates feel more alive and interesting!

Give it a try!

Small talk or magic? You decide! Read More »

“When you love me I’ll show you who I am”

girl-850117_1280We all crave love, intimacy, connection and good relationships, it is one of the most important things in life, and it comes in many forms (friends, siblings, lovers or even strangers).

Since it is so important to us, of course it creates big pain to lose it, or even risk to lose it. So we try to protect ourselves from that. But, and I’ve written about this before but keep coming back to is cause it’s so important, when we close ourselves off from pain we also close ourselves off to love and connection, since they enter through the same door.

Usually we are completely unaware of this, and can’t see that we are pushing people away and keeping them out even though we want them to come closer. In our minds, what we do makes perfect sense.

We truly feel that it’s reasonable to expect to first be completely loved by someone, and then open up and be vulnerable about who we are.

We think that we can first decide if someone is interesting to date, and then get to know them if we think that they are.

We think that we can play it safe, and thereby eliminate the risks.

Well, we can, but at a very high price. The best and safest way to not get your heart broken is to not let anyone come close. Ever. You’ll be very miserable in other ways but you won’t get your heart broken.

We need to turn the whole way of thinking around and say yes to the opportunities – and to the risks! We need to compare the risk of getting hurt to the risk of not taking that risk. Because that has consequences too.

It’s not a huge deal that you might reject people or miss out on opportunities right now, today, but if you do it every day for the rest of your life, that will equal a very lonely life. And that is a huge risk!

You also need to trust your ability to survive emotional pain. Because you will, if it happens. It will hurt, you will feel like crap, it will affect you in many ways – and then you will move on and learn from it. In this all inclusive package called life, some shit sandwiches will occasionally be served. It’s part of the deal. It is how we learn.

You will survive it. And it will be so worth it.

“When you love me I’ll show you who I am” Read More »

What you know and what you learn

stack-of-books-1001655_1280There are areas in every persons life where we feel skilled. At home. We know what to do, how to handle challenges, how to grow, or just to stay on top of it and avoid mistakes. It’s a different area for different people, and it’s a mixture of personality traits, things we learned from our parents, or life, and things that just felt natural to us along the way.

For someone it’s music; you just sit down with an instrument and get it. For someone else it’s social interactions; they just love meeting new people and feel so good in every social setting. Others have a feeling for writing, some kind of sport, or design.

Then there are things that we need to learn. That maybe don’t come as naturally to us, or that for some reason no one taught us along the way. Maybe our parents lacked this skill or knowledge too, maybe ww grew up in an environment where other things were more emphasized or maybe we got sick for a long time and missed out on something that is part of most peoples life experience.

Then we can learn. Luckily, we can learn almost anything. But what I often find when I’m coaching, is that a lot of people seem to think that it is somehow unfair, or wrong that they – of all people – have to take this journey of self-discovery, healing and coaching. When it looks so easy for everyone else!

“How come I can’t figure out this dating thing when it’s so obvious to everyone else?”
“Why does this keep happening to me when dating looks so easy breezy to others?”

I know that pain, believe me. I spent years blaming life for being unfair and it wasn’t until way later that I realized that fairness is a quite big order from something as random as life. And I also realized that I wasn’t seeing the world clearly. I completely missed out on the fact that I had other skills and advantages that felt so easy and obvious to me that I couldn’t even grasp the idea that that could be an issue for someone else. All I saw was the things that I lacked and others had.

So even if you may struggle a bit with your love life at the moment, you can create the change that you want, and you also have many other life areas where everything is going great without any struggle or effort. It may be that you have great friends, your good health or that you’ve always known what you’ve wanted to do for work. Appreciate that, and realize that it’s not reasonable to expect that you excel in every area of life automatically.

Lately I have thought a lot about this. Why do we think that something is wrong when we have issues? Isn’t it kind of arrogant to demand that we come into this world fully equipped for every situation in every area without a learning curve? How could we possibly know things we were never taught and didn’t come easy to us?

Isn’t a much better approach to be thankful for the things that did come to us with ease and grace, and then start doing what we can to learn the rest – without making ourselves feel bad about it – and even be grateful for the possibility to learn as well?

So if you bash on yourself because of your love life, please remember that you are not alone, and that you can learn, grow, and take charge of what happens, just like in any other are of your life. And that other people need to make an effort to create what they want in other areas where things have always been working for you.

What you know and what you learn Read More »

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…

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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.

Can you see what you are looking for? Read More »

How you feel about your looks is more about how you feel than how you look.

When talking about dating, attraction and flirting, one thing that comes up a lot is the topic of looks.

Will it help to look good? Well, this question is more complicated than it seems. Because “looking good” is a very abstract concept, and depends on who you ask. I’m not gonna talk about the eye of the beholder, rather, I want to point to the fact that looking good and thinking that you look good are two different things, and make a world of difference.

There are many objectively amazingly beautiful people who hate their looks and suffer immensely because they feel uncomfortable in their own skin. Even if other people adore their good looks, they still don’t like themselves, and that is a horrible feeling.

As I write in the title, how you feel about your looks has a lot more to do with how you feel than how you look. Liking the way you look has much more to do with how you look at, and think about, yourself, than your actual looks. It’s very strange that we seem to think that the best way to liking ourselves is through self-hatred, mistreatment and punishment. That that will somehow lead to a change that we will approve of. But what really needs to change is the disapproval. Self-hate cannot lead to self-love.

If you can’t appreciate your self, it doesn’t matter how you look.  And when you can, it doesn’t matter either. Appreciation is the key, not good looks.


Start by looking yourself and others in the eyes! People are not chunks of meat, we are human beings and way too interesting and complex to be reduced to a pair of thighs or a butt. We have souls, dreams, hopes, fears, wounds, longings and deep emotions. But we can’t see that in ourselves, or in each other, when we are busy comparing or obsessing about body parts.

Start seeing yourself and other people as whole and complete persons. Explore who you and they really are, and see what happens. Your appreciation for others and yourself will grow.  The beauty you will see in people will affect how you perceive them physically, and the same is true for you. You will start to connect with people for real, beyond looks and appearances. You will start to see the real beauty, and feel your own.

The reason that you can see and feel all of this beauty is because you have a body. That is the purpose of your body. To experience life, beauty and connection from the inside of it, not to judge the outside of it. 

How you feel about your looks is more about how you feel than how you look. Read More »

Are you afraid of missing out?

reachI coach and talk to a lot of people who try to keep their options open. At least that is what they tell me.

They can say that online dating is probably a good way to meet new people so they keep doing it – even when it seems to not give them anything close to what they want or even feel like they want to be there. But what if the love of their life were to suddenly appear there? You wouldn’t want to miss that, would you? Of course not.

The problem is that, in this case, the decision to do online dating is based on a logical “should”, and the fear of missing something, rather than getting an actual enjoyment out of dating in that way. And sure, theoretically you could miss out on someone interesting if you left, but your chances of meeting and connecting with someone are so much bigger if you meet new people in a way that feel comfortable and in a place that you actually want to be. If that’s online – go for it! If it’s in clubs and bars – go there and meed new people. If it’s in your choir, at the gym or a cooking class, that’s where you want to be.

You are so much more attractive and approachable when you feel relaxed and happy and are where you are because you want to be there, not because of a fear of missing out!

One thing that people who think like this have in common is usually a sharp mind. Their minds convince them that it’s a “good idea” to keep all doors open – even the doors they don’t like. The interesting thing is that when I ask them about how they feel about their options, more often than not, they have a very strong intuitive clarity around what they want and don’t want – they just don’t follow it!

I can’t tell you how often I am in coaching sessions with amazing people who tell me with astonishing clarity exactly what it is that they want/like and not, but since they tend to listen to their minds more than their intuition they feel confused.

If this resonates with you, please give yourself permission to try “the other way”. Don’t do “the smart thing” if it doesn’t also feel good. If you don’t like bars, or strangers or online dating, don’t go out, don’t go on blind dates and remove your online dating profile (at least for a while just to compare). Instead, go to places that intrigue and amaze you, meet your friends friends casually instead of on blind dates, and flirt more in your everyday life – and see what happens!

Follow your curiosity and joy! Because if you don’t, that’s when you’ll really miss out.

Are you afraid of missing out? Read More »

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