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Are you tired of the pain and drama associated with dating losers? How Not to Date a Loser will empower you to avoid unhealthy relationships and learn how to build a vibrant romance. Georgia Shaffer will help you:
Georgia Shaffer is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania and a certified life coach. For more than 15 years, she has enhanced people’s lives by teaching them how to identify: “What needs to grow? What needs to go?” Georgia’s warmth, wisdom, and no-nonsense personality will help you:
Georgia writes and speaks frequently on the subjects of relationships, dating, grief, and rebuilding after loss. Her new book, How Not to Date a Loser: A Guide to Making Smart Choices, was released in December 2008. She is also the author of The Gift of Mourning Glories: Restoring Your Life after Loss, and producer of the syndicated radio feature The Mourning Glory Minute.
In 1989, after a recurrence of breast cancer, Georgia was given a 2% chance to be alive in 10 years. During the same time, she experienced the devastating loss of her job and her marriage. So, Georgia knows first-hand the struggles, setbacks, and skills needed to begin again. She also knows the joy that comes from living with passion and purpose.
Georgia’s energetic style has resonated with listeners and viewers on national programs, such as The 700 Club, Decision Today, and Sky Angel’s A Time for Hope. She has also provided expertise as a presenter on the American Association of Christian Counselors’ video curriculum Christian Coaching Volumes I and II; Fresh Start: Life After Divorce; Cancer: Seven Things You Can Do to Help; and Caring for Teens God’s Way.
When Georgia isn’t writing, speaking, or counseling, she enjoys spending time with her son and deciding what needs to grow or go in her scenic garden. She resides just outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Rely on Georgia Shaffer to help you know: What needs to grow and? What needs to go?
Georgia Shaffer is a licensed psychologist, life coach, and the author of How Not to Date a Loser: A Guide to Making Smart Choices. She writes and speaks frequently on the subjects of relationships, dating, grief, and rebuilding after loss. Georgia has more than 15 years experience helping people identify: “What needs to grow? What needs to go?” For more information, visit: www.GeorgiaShaffer.com.
Georgia, you’ve written a book with a pretty blunt title. What led you to write How NOT to Date a Loser?
Unfortunately, like many readers, I’ve had my share of heartache. It all started many years ago when my marriage fell apart. During that difficult time as I attempted to rebuild my life, I realized there were certain skills that I needed to do singleness well and I set about learning how to intentionally grow in those areas.
Today, I’m a relationship coach and licensed psychologist in PA with more than 15 years experience. I’ve seen the poor choices singles sometimes make. I wrote How Not to Date a Loser to help them avoid the pain of unsafe relationships. Also I’m a proud mom with a son who is engaged to a wonderful woman. I know what it feels like to be a concerned parent, watching your son or daughter wrestle with relationship choices, so How Not to Date a Loser can be a helpful resource for parents to give to their young adult children.
What do you mean by “loser”? Are you just bashing people? How would someone know if he or she was dating a loser?
A loser is a hurting person who hurts others. I’m not here to bash people because in God’s eyes we all have value and purpose. But for many reasons, certain people just aren’t healthy individuals where they currently are. Maybe in 10 years they will be, but not now.
A loser is someone who hurts others because he or she either lacks self awareness or hasn’t chosen to do the hard work needed to heal and grow. Let me give you some specifics:
For those readers who are wondering how to identify if their current relationship is a healthy one, there is a free quiz available on the Resources page at www.HowNOTtoDatealoser.com.
You say singles today are more vulnerable to losers than ever before. Why?
Because 93 percent of our communication with others is nonverbal. By nonverbal I’m referring to the messages we communicate through our facial expressions, eye contact, and body language.
The problem is today we connect mostly with email or telephone, and as a result we can miss many clues that we would naturally pick up when talking face-to-face. One clue – like shifting of the eyes – alerts us that something isn’t right.
In How NOT to Date Loser, I help readers pick up on these valuable clues – information you can only get in your face-to-face conversations.
In chapters 3 and 4 you talk about understanding we all have blind spots and how that impacts our choices. How can someone see what they might be missing in someone they’re dating?
Just like those visual blind spots we experience when driving a car, we all have relational blind spots – things we can’t see but quite often other people in our lives do see. One blind spot, for example, is we might concentrate on a few traits we find attractive in someone – like good looks or a great job – but we may ignore the fact they are extremely jealous and controlling.
Therefore, as singles we need a willingness to be open to what our parents, friends or coworkers might see as a red flag in someone we’re dating even if these cautions are things we have missed or felt were unimportant.
The best way to see what we may be missing is to do the following:
You believe that identifying our values is extremely important in finding the relationships we really want. Can you explain what you mean?
One of the biggest mistakes singles make is that they settle too soon and for less than God’s best. I’ve made this mistake, and I’ve learned how important it is to clarify my values before I get caught up in all the excitement of a romantic relationship. By values I’m referring to the things that are most important to us.
Several years ago I was seriously dating a man, and one night I realized that what was most important to me, my faith, wasn’t one of his top five values. My top five values were faith, family, integrity, excellence, and beauty. However, his top five values were fun, food, knowledge, trust, family.
I’m not saying our lists have to be the identical because they don’t. But the real question is …are we compatible with the things we value most? In my case, we weren’t.
For those of you who want to identify whether you are on the same page with the person you’re dating, I have a free resource – 40 Make or Break Relationship Questions – which helps you to clarify what’s important to you. It’s available to anyone who signs up for my newsletter at www.HowNOTtoDateaLoser.com.
In chapter 5 of How Not to Date a Loser you talk about the difficulties of connecting in an honest open way. What are some of the problems?
Some people have what I call “intimacy blockers” that hinder their ability to give or receive love. Some examples of intimacy blockers are refusing to discuss the elephant in the room, being afraid to express true feelings or refusing to hear the truth even when spoken in love. For instance, if you believe that it’s important to avoid conflict at all costs then that’s going to negatively impact your ability to connect with others. You will build up a lot of bitterness and resentment and you can’t be yourself.
It’s extremely important for each one of us that we recognize what our intimacy blockers are and work to overcome them so that we can deepen our ability to connect with others in meaningful ways. I have an article on intimacy blockers at www.HowNOTtoDateaLoser.com under “Free Resources.”
What would you say to singles who are in a relationship they know is not healthy? What do they need to know to avoid that trap?
It’s critical to be aware that we are often driven by our fears, which feed feelings of desperation and neediness. We stay stuck in unhealthy relationships because we’re afraid we’ll never find someone to love us for who we really are. We’re afraid we’ll die alone or especially in this economy, we’re afraid we won’t be able to take care of ourselves financially.
I did this. I dated “Mr. Maybe I Can Make it Work” because I too was afraid I’d never find anyone better. Rather than looking at my fears and understanding how to handle them, I allowed them to dictate my choices and then comforted myself with the thought that at least I had someone even when I knew this person wasn’t the best for me. In chapter 2 of How Not to Date a Loser I help singles identify their fears so that they aren’t driven by them and pulled into the traps of others.
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