MeLanie Hersch, LMFT
Hi! I'm Melanie Hersch.
I'm confident that I can help you because frankly --- I was you.
In addition to being a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and a former Matchmaker and Dating Coach at eHarmony, I'm also a seasoned dater myself. And let me tell you -- I understand how frustrating it can be!
Okay....let's get real here.
You’re a great catch.
You have a great sense of humor.
Quality long-term friends.
You're intelligent and kind.
You’ve done a ton of personal work.
You're fit and active and take great care of yourself.
You have an amazing life and KNOW you have so much to offer a partner.
So why does it seem so hard to find love?
The Frustrations of Dating
Let me know if you can relate to any of these scenarios:
You have a first date set up -- and you're actually excited about this one!
He's charming, handsome, successful, family oriented, and seems down to earth. You've had some great texting exchanges and when you talked on the phone you clicked right away.
And..... just as expected, the date goes amazingly.
The chemistry is there. The conversation flows seamlessly. You both laugh a ton --- and I'm not talking about that fake, polite laugh you do with your boss...but the 'I-have-to-recover-to-catch-my-breath' kind of laughing. He tells you he hasn't had this much fun in a long time. And the truth is, you haven't either.
It's CLEAR.... you're both feeling it.
At the end of the date he says, "We definitely need to do this again."
Clearly you couldn't agree more ;-)
He says he'll call you to set something up.
You've FINALLY met someone you can actually envision yourself with!
But then..... as soon as it starts, it's over.
You play phone/text tag a couple of times and then you never end up hearing from him again.
You're left TOTALLY confused. Are you really that bad at reading signals from men? I mean, it seemed like you had this incredible connection and like he was SO into you. Could you really have imagined the whole thing?
You can't help but wonder -- is there something that I missed here?
You anxiously keep checking your phone, hoping that maybe you just missed a text he sent you. But.....nothing.
Hopelessness starts to kick in.
You really saw potential with this one. How could you have been so off?
The fact that you misread the whole situation leaves you feeling beyond disappointed and wanting to give up. Maybe this was just a sign that what you really need to be doing right now is focusing on YOURSELF and digging into your career some more. Whatever the case is --- you're feeling confused, hurt, and vulnerable. And, well.... this is not fun.
It's a Saturday afternoon.
This is the 3rd coffee date you've been on this week.....and you're just plain ol' burnt out. :-/
Each guy you meet is super nice, and seems like a quality guy --- but you just aren't FEELING it for any of them.
The chemistry just isn't there.
You're doing what you're "supposed" to be doing -- and getting out there and meeting lots of men --- but you just can't help it if you're not really feeling it. You go on date after date --- and you're friendly and kind and try to be open-minded. But each time you leave the date, you walk back to your car feeling like it was a waste of time; and like you'd rather have been home, organizing your sock drawer, or curled up on the couch watching the latest episode of Orange is the New Black.
The most frustrating thing is that all of these guys are quality guys that are truly looking for love and ready for partnership. And they all seem to genuinely REALLY like you.
They are kind and considerate. They have solid jobs. Are family oriented. They share similar hobbies and are truly interested in you. Not only do they say they want to see you again.....but they actually ask you which day you're free to meet up again.
You're starting to wonder if maybe your friends are right. Could it be true that you're just being too picky? But I mean, after all this time waiting for the right partner, you're not going to just settle and be with anyone!
And then the sinking feeling hits again. Why is finding the right match for you proving to be so challenging?
Why is it that all the guys you REALLY like seem to disappear or turn out to be unavailable, and the ones you don't feel any chemistry with seem to adore you and are drawn to you like those damn fruit flies that won't seem to leave your kitchen??
I get it -- because I've been there myself.
And I'll be honest with you -- I was there WAY longer than I would've liked to have been!
I know what it's like:
* Going on date after date -- struggling to find a high quality man who I could truly envision creating a life with.
* Experiencing the ups and downs, the overwhelm of online dating, the feeling of wanting to quit, being totally burnt out, and feeling hopeless.
* Finding someone great, only to discover they're actually unavailable, and realizing that I was just repeating an old dysfunctional pattern, yet again!
* Seeing potential red flags....but wanting love and partnership so badly that I ignored them -- foolishly hoping things might change.
* Wasting time plagued by self-doubt, overanalyzing my interactions with men and spinning out in my head wondering if maybe there was a more effective way I could be communicating my thoughts and feelings. (And burning out all my friends in the process!)
I always thought that the reason I couldn't find a great partner was because there was simply a lack of quality men out there that I truly resonated with. I mean, sharing a mutual love for camping and 80's music just wasn't going to cut it for me. I knew what I wanted (or 'thought' I knew) and my standards were high.
I figured that what I was looking for was a needle in a haystack and it just came down to patience and timing.
And that's true. It IS about patience and timing.
But the question was --- why was it taking THIS long??
After years and years of thinking I wasn't finding love because there was a lack of quality men out there
-- it finally hit me:
Is it possible that the lack of success in my romantic life might actually have something to do with ME (gulp) --- and less to do with there being a lack of great guys out there??
I mean, if the only thing that all of my unsuccessful relationships had in common was ME....then perhaps I needed to start looking a little deeper at myself -- and a little less at those vision boards ;-)
And being the personal growth junkie that I am.....I did just that.
I'm not going to lie -- it took me a LONG time to do the work I needed to do and to have the breakthroughs I needed to have. I read more books then I ever dreamed I could possibly read related to dating, relationships, communication, attachment styles, sexuality, love addiction, co-dependency, couples work and masculine/feminine polarity. I attended every workshop that I could --- studied with incredible masters in the field --- and even ended up going to grad school and becoming a psychotherapist in the process.
From the practical side to the spiritual side -- I was 100% committed to understanding love, the dynamics between men and women and figuring out exactly what was holding me back from having the great relationship I desired.
I used myself as my own personal guinea pig...applying everything I was learning to my own love life. I mined every experience I had in the dating world for the nuggets of wisdom and teachings that they had to offer. And let me tell you -- I faltered quite a bit!
While it didn't happen overnight.....over time, I noticed that my love life had completley transformed.
I also realized that dating and relationships had turned out to be the greatest vehicles to my own personal growth and evolution.
Each experience I had in the dating world led me to understand an important aspect of myself on an even deeper level, and taught me invaluable lessons about relationships and the dynamics between men and women. Mining these experiences for all the gold they had -- I ended up surprisingly growing into the most confident, peaceful, clear and joyful version of myself that I'd ever been. And what I noticed is that as I stepped into this highest version of myself -- what I was feeling on the inside began to be reflected on the outside as well -- in my love life. It seems that who I was now "being" was suddenly attracting in a whole new caliber of partners. It's as if the puzzle pieces were finally coming together....and everything just started to fit.
No longer was I attracting in so-so connections or wasting time with men that weren't good for me.
The caliber of the men I was drawing in had completely changed.
Because the truth was.... I had completely changed.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I'm some enlightened being who has it all figured out. Far from it.
And I'm also not saying that you need to completely change who you are to draw in a great partner.
But what I will tell you is that after spending over two decades in and out of the dating world, and struggling to find the right partner -- it was an incredible experience to finally get that how I was showing up and who I was being (consciously and unconsciously) was having a direct impact on the quality of men that were showing up in my life.
To realize that I'd been the one in the drivers seat all along -- controlling the outcome this whole time -- this was a major eye opener for me!
And here -- all along -- I thought it was the lack of great men out there! I'm still amazed to this day at how easily love came in as soon as I moved through some beliefs that were holding me back and shifted some key perspectives that I had around dating and relationships.
The best part was --after applying the things I learned to the singles and couples I was working with in my psychotherapy practice and also with my eHarmony clients....I started to see that what I learned wasn't just transformative for me -- but was genuinely making a deep impact on my clients' love lives as well. As I delighted in watching single woman after single woman in my private practice start to partner up with incredible men -- I knew that this was the work I was called to do.
While it took me a long time to figure this stuff out -- it definitely doesn't have to take you as long. With some investigation and inquiry into your beliefs and patterns and an openess to explore what's blocking you, change can literally be right around the corner.
Nothing is more rewarding to me then being able to use my training, personal experience, and expertise to help women avoid the pitfalls and blind spots that are holding them back from having the love they want!
Can we live happy, fulfilled, amazing lives without a partner? Of course!
(That's what we need to be doing all along) :-)
But the truth is, if we have a choice between doing it on our own....or having an amazing, conscious, quality partner loving us up, right there by our side --- why not figure out how to have that partner, yes? :)
Your Greatest Teacher
Listen, I'm not going to go all Pollyana on you here.
Dating can definitely be a windy and challenging road.
It can be full of trials and tribulations.
Heartbreaks, disappointments, anxiety and confusion.
It can shoot you up to the moon....and just as quickly, bring you down to your knees.
But -- (yes, of course there is a but!) -- dating can also be your greatest teacher.
Hear me out:
People go to India to study with a guru.
Or climb mountains to find themselves.
Or go from workshop to workshop hoping to find the answers.
Or they go to therapy and replay mom and dad issues over and over... and over again to gain clarity.
You want to grow?
I say -- look no farther then yourself and your own dating world.
Because dating and relationships truly are the most intense and rich vehicles for personal and spiritual growth.
(And I've done all that mountain climbing!) :)
Dating challenges you to really look at yourself.
To learn more about who you REALLY are.
To investigate what's truly most important to you.
It shows you how you self sabatouge and abandon yourself.
What your strengths and weaknesses are.
What kinds of boundaries you have.
How well you're taking care of yourself.
It shows you any limiting beliefs and negative self talk that are stuck on repeat.
It reveals to you any struggles you have being fully transparent and authentic.
How confident you truly are.
It will show you any co-dependencies or addictions you have.
And it will mirror to you how truly fulfilled and happy you actually are.
Dating will undoubably show you ALL the areas that you are stuck.
And all the places within yourself that need love and attention.
The good news is: When you actually start working with what's coming up in your dating and relationship life, it can be your greatest gift ever -- and become a major catalyist for life-altering, deep personal growth.
The pains, the joys, the anxieties, the confusion, the frustration....it's all right there to help grow you into the most evolved and incredible person you can be.
If you're courageous enough to embrace the teachings and wisdom that dating and relationships will provide you -- and you dive in and really look at yourself and do the work --- you will undoubtedly become the most self-actualized and powerful version of yourself that you can be.
And who doesn't want that? :)
Because a great relationship starts with yourself.....
HELPING SOULFUL, KICK-ASS WOMEN GET THE LOVE THEY WANT
Good at You
Empowered Dating & Relationship Coaching