You’re a take-charge kind of woman who has her life together. You feel ready to add a relationship to it again. You think you know at least a few things that have tripped up your relationships in the past, and you know you want to do it differently this time.
Yet you’re not quite sure where to start. That’s where I can help!
I’m Rachel Paz. I’m a dating coach for independent women who feel like finding companionship and intimacy is impossible without giving up lives they love. I teach my clients to own who they are and what they want so they can find the right amount of space in their lives to share with a guy who really gets them.
Did I wake up one day and magically know exactly what I wanted in a relationship and how to get it (or how to help other people get it)? No, definitely not.
I got divorced in 2012. My now ex-husband declared our marriage was over on a beach in Hawaii during a family trip while our 3 year-old son played in the sand next to us. We had just completed 6 months of marriage counseling. I thought things were better; he clearly thought things had gotten much worse. I knew we were struggling, but the final determination of divorce completely blindsided me. I didn’t see it coming at all.
Once the shock wore off, and I had the chance to grieve, I swore on my life that I would never put myself in such a vulnerable position again. Why would I allow someone to have such influence over my life…? And for what? To be able to cook him dinner, take care of our child, and do his laundry? No sir. Not for me. Not anymore.
About a year later, when I was finally ready to dive back into dating, I protected the hell out of my independence. I had recovered financially, I was raising my child, and I was working full-time and consulting on the side. I wasn’t going to hand any of it over to anyone else so he could abandon it whenever they felt like it.
I dated in a city 50 miles from where I lived. I wouldn’t let anyone come to my house. I did just about everything I could have done to not let anyone get close to me. And it worked. I dated men who were happy that I didn’t want them that close. They liked that I was independent. They like that I wasn’t needy. They liked that I wasn’t available too often.
I liked it, too. For a while. Until I started to feel like I wanted more of a relationship. I really wanted to share more of myself with someone.
So I started looking at ways to let a guy more into my life. I pretty quickly discovered I had a paralyzing fear of intimacy. Even when I thought I was letting a guy get close to me, there were still things I did to protect myself and not let him get too close.
I began to look inward. My relationships all had one thing in common: somewhere in each of those experiences, I hit a point of believing I couldn’t have what I wanted, or feeling like I couldn’t just be myself, or worrying about getting hurt or being rejected. I then created a whole bunch of reasons that the relationship wasn’t right, or I found something fundamentally wrong with the other person. Once I identified those patterns, I committed to change them.
I set out to make myself the person I wanted to be in relationships. Over time, I systematically dismantled the stories and excuses, so all that remains is clarity about what I want and being ready, willing and able to have it. I created big experiments for myself to see both my desires and my limitations.
My biggest experiment to date is when I moved in with a man – who wasn’t my boyfriend – for a year to see if I could have a live-in partner in the same home as my child! I had to work through a lot of fears, develop really clear boundaries, and be completely honest all the time for it to work. I learned so much about myself and what I really wanted in a relationship. (And I got the chance to fight about who was going to do the dishes plenty of times!)
Ultimately, I got clear that the reason for owning who I am and what I wanted in relationships wasn’t ever so I could find the right guy. It was for me. It was so that my actions would be aligned with what I believed about myself and so I could fully express myself in relationships. I developed a sense of loyalty to myself that had never been there before. Oh, and the real kicker? Wouldn’t you know that partner options literally started to fall from the sky?! (Ok, not literally from the sky, but man, I had a lot of really great options show up!)
Where did all this get me?
Today, I’m in a long-term relationship that looks so very different than any relationship I’ve ever had before. I get to be completely me (dork and all), I have the skills to ask for and get what I need, my personal boundaries are strong, I speak up for myself when they’ve been crossed, and I’m being as vulnerable and intimate as I’ve ever been. I’m also happier in a relationship than I’ve ever been. I don’t stew over problems for days, I don’t hold a grudge, and I don’t make him responsible for my feelings – and because none of these things are dragging on me, I have a lot more energy to enjoy him and our time together!
Now I lead women on this journey of examining who they are and who they want to be in their relationships, clearing out what’s in the way, and attracting partners that fit. I love to see women unravel the intricacies of what they want, detach from what is expected of them, and learn the skills to feel ready to love again without sacrificing themselves in the process.
To learn more about how I can help you, click here.