Have You Got Your Priorities Straight??




I spent yesterday afternoon in a beautiful park that overlooked the San Francisco Bay. My dear friend always celebrates her birthday in that park because she’s happiest there.


The parking is sparse up in those hills and though she never asks us to bring anything, everyone takes the time to make something special, or perhaps because they feel a bit guilty for not making a homemade dish, spend a fortune on some fabulous cheeses and wines. I bring my famous homemade apple pie because I love baking them, but honestly, I love that people who’ve been willing to ax the cholesterol mania look forward to letting it all go and enjoying something quite sinful by California standards. I gotta admit, I love doing the “wrong” things in life. It’s where the joy lives.


My friend is an immigrant from Eastern Europe, and many of her friends are too. It’s always beautiful to see that sea of beautiful blue eyed people so full of life and joy gathered in one place.


The cake was beautiful. Soft clouds of whipped cream, fresh strawberries covered angelic yellow cake. When the time came to celebrate, she said “I am going to do the toast this year.” She toasted her friends, told us how of all the things in her life, her daughters and her friends were the most important. “Life is so busy.” she said. “And I don’t spend enough time with all of you. I’m sorry about that and this year, I’m going to change that because I love you so much. It’s what I want to do with my precious time.”


I felt the tears welling up from a deep place in my soul. That morning I’d spent two hours on the phone with a forever friend from Maine. We talked about our health, our homes and children, grandchildren and the fears we have about ageing and friends who were sick and struggling. When we hung up, I wondered what I would do without her, without friends. I can’t imagine it because they are like my heartbeat.


Today, I hope you will think about what your life would be like without your friends. Then, ask yourself if the time you are giving to them is in proportion to the importance they have in your life. If the answer is “No”, perhaps it’s time to consider your priorities. We spend our precious currency of time on what we perceive is most important, so look at where you’re investing yours. That cake was wonderful, but a temporary delight. My friend…she’s forever.


If you think others might enjoy this blog, please post it on your Facebook page or email it to your friends with a note telling them how much you love them.

Tired of watching those sunsets alone and ready for a friend and new love of your life? It’s lovely to be in love again. Ready to find them? I can be your guide to finding love again.

Call me at 510-817-4242 or email me at donna@donnasbigredchair.love for a

Complimentary Session

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big RED Chair

510-817-4242   donna@donnasbigredchair.love


I Dance, You Dance…Are We Compatible?


Of course we want to be in relationship with someone who likes the same kinds of things we do…to a point. When it crosses the line and you look like you might be kissing your doppelganger, things might get a little boring after a bit. 


I’m online as often as I can screw up my courage to hit the website button to see what surprises await me. 12 Daily Matches come to my inbox every day and I’m always glad those guys don’t hear or see my bug eyes when I look at the photos and say (really to Match computers), “Are you f–king kidding me!?”. They definitely aren’t matching by photos, or they wouldn’t send those shirtless men taking selfies in the bathroom mirror at 7AM. Can you imagine!


I’m a big supporter of online dating because we aren’t getting any younger waiting for Mr. Natural to show up in the Whole Foods wearing a name badge declaring, “I’m single…tell me how to cook spaghetti squash!”. Face it. That’s only going to happen in the next romantic comedy you see.


There are many many problems associated with online dating, including the algorithm that matches us by Interests and calls it compatibility. When we scroll down beyond “5’2”, Yes. Children and they live at home, and asking someone 72 if they want more children”…we see things that person likes to do. Dancing, Music, Traveling to Zimbabwe, Meditating 8 hours a day, Motocross, Exercising 7 days a week…


We often assume that if we too share those hobbies or interests we’d be happy with them. And, most of us would be happy, but after the romance of the pink cloud fades, and we’re back to being honest…”I am terrified of heights.” “I get diarrhea every time I travel to Mexico, so I’m not traveling any more.” “I really don’t like walking that much, except to the mailbox”, that’s when we realize that compatible doesn’t mean that at all. 


When we are compatible, it’s based on the mutual desire to be together, making every effort including a lot of compromises over time, putting the relationship ahead of ourselves often, and always going to “I want to be with this person” when the shift hits the fan and we need to get through the rough patches. Compatibility is not a light-weight issue. It’s the meat of the relationship’s possibility, what makes it sacred and special to both involved. And, it’s based on shared values.


Feelings change. Values like integrity, feeling safe, the ability to navigate with a partner to solve disagreements, healthy communication, don’t change.  You may like to dance too, and travel with Imodium, and that’s what you both may want to do with your time in this period of your life. That’s all good!  But, that won’t mean you’re compatible. You can’t know from a profile, or from the initial dating and romance phase. Time and only time will show you the truth about each other and then the decision can be made to really commit to this flawed and wonderful person that you take “as is”…or not.  


So, get online. Find someone you think you might like to meet given what that profile gives you. Then, if there’s a spark, go out again and again until you have a flat tire or the car doesn’t start. That’s when you’ll begin to see the real “stuff” love takes. It’s the entrance into the next phase of exploration. You’ll see things show up that will either make a relationship happy and compatible or, sometimes, discover that it takes more than love. That’s when the courage to see and accept the truth will be most challenging because we want it to be enough.


Take your time, but begin now and see where the road takes you. It’s so worth the slogging.

Found this blog on Facebook? Like it, then go to www.donnasbigredchair.love /BLOG and sign up to receive my new weekly blog in you inbox!


Do you want love in your life? Are you sometimes confused about head and heart, and don’t trust yourself to choose the “right” person next time? Are you curious about how to find that special someone who is compatible and wants many of the same things in a loving relationship that you do? Do you clearly know what YOU want?

Call me at 510-817-4242 or email me for a Complimentary Session! 

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big Red Chair

510-817-4242   donna@donnasbigredchair.love



It Takes as Long as it Takes


How long does it take before you realize that you need to change something in your life that hasn’t been working for you? You can see it causes you pain, that you aren’t happy, that he/she isn’t going to change and yet after months and sometimes years, you’re still doing the same thing, choosing the same kind of person to date, or swimming in a pool of hope that he/she will change now that you’re back together. 


A few weeks ago I met a man online. You know the drill…cute, tall, owned a sailboat, charming and witty. Now, in all fairness, I am sure there are men out there who are all these things, and healthy enough to have a nice relationship. “I just haven’t met him yet”, Michael Buble sings. That Sunday afternoon, I went to meet the guy I hoped would be all that, and not a member of the tribe of the self-absorbed. We don’t know much from a profile or emails or beautiful writing…it’s all in the pudding of meeting them and even then, until a crisis occurs or the pink cloud disappears over time, we really can’t know.


He hadn’t given me much information except he’d be there doing some work for the Board and asking me to “just text me.” So, I did…and nothing. After 15 minutes, I sent another, “I’m here.” About 10 minutes later he appeared…no apology for my waiting, and he turned and started up the stairs to the bar with nary a word except, “this way.” Two glasses of Chardonnay and an amazing view of the estuary later, all I could hear was HIS voice. On rare occasions, you could hear mine trying unsuccessfully to say something. And, it was so beautiful there and his sailboat was going to be fun! He got up, talked to other people and would return at will and continue “Did I tell you about me?”


After about two hours of this, I was still enchanted by the romance of it all. Really???  Yep. It felt familiar. I understood this kind of man, and worse, this kind of treatment. My escape was to imagine the fun we’d have later.  Speaking of later…it was time to head home, so he walked me out the door and gave me a kiss followed by, “I’d love to see you again.” Of course, I said,’I’d really like that.” Really??? Yep. And I meant it.


Driving off and making it alive onto the freeway, I was high from Mr. Charming, my imagination of what would happen on the next date was like a runaway train into Fantasyland. And then, it hit me like a load of bricks. Out of nowhere, it seemed, I said right out loud, “NO!!!! You aren’t going to see him again! Not him or anyone like him ever again!” And a door closed. A door that had allowed men unfettered access to my sweet heart who didn’t deserve me. My heart swelled up on that drive home and it wasn’t congestive failure. It was the self-love that I’d been compromising, not because I’m not smart, or aware, or that I’m totally screwed up. My heart knew for the first time that I was worth loving and being loved by a man worthy of me.


The next part isn’t a straight line either…making changes when you know what’s good for you. Mr. Nice Man may not come complete with fireworks and massage oil. He may come in a truck, or bring you a cup of tea and look quite ordinary. You may feel the warmth and safety he brings when he says, “Let’s take our time and get to know each other.” You need to practice being ready to receive, talking about what you love and  imagine what it feels like to meet someone who cares about you and wants to make you happy. It sounds great and it is, but how long will it take before you’re there?? Be loving and patient, compassionate and kind to your sweet self because for all of us it takes as long as it takes to learn a new way of loving.


Are you tired of watching sunsets alone, and of meeting the same kind of person over and over again? If you think you’re ready to do whatever it takes to find the next love of your life, I can show you how to begin again.

Call me at 510-817-422 or email me at donna@donnasbigredchair.love for

A Complimentary Session

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big RED Chair




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