Getting to Know Someone

It’s Safe to Love and Be Loved



This morning I was listening to a guided meditation. God bless technology and apps that can bring this kind of peace to my mornings. And, how often when I’ve been steeped in the down-side of technology for the past two weeks do I remember the upside of what it brings to my life every single day? Love and loving are like that too. I can get lost in the memories of the past that can make me want to ditch the whole dang thing. 


Her soothing voice gave me permission to lie down rather than sit up straight with my feet on the floor and my posture erect. Believe me, at 6 am the word “erect” is not in my vocabulary…well, that’s not totally true. OK…back to meditation. After a few deep breaths, my guide told me to think of someone with whom I feel totally at ease, with whom I can be myself and who makes me feel totally safe. My gratitude for more than one friend who fit that bill rose from the depths of my soul. How lucky was I that I had to decide which one of them I’d focus on this time?


One of my friends in California drifted into my heart. I remembered many times when we were together at her home, at restaurants…it didn’t matter which memory arose, what was so beautiful was that each and every time we were together over the years, I never had to be anyone other than who I was at that moment in time. No memories of feeling judged or her wanting me to change. Just the hum of acceptance and with that, the feeling of complete relaxation and comfort…the kind I seek daily, and this morning, through meditation.


“Now, think of the person you want in your life to be your next life partner”, she said. “Imagine yourself and this person together at an event, a date, a place. Do you feel that same safety and acceptance you felt when you remembered your friend?” I did! I knew then, that all those years when I’d journal about feeling safe, it wasn’t an anomaly, a wounded woman who had not been safe as a child. It was simply “normal” that a healthy relationship from the moment you meet someone MUST give you the feeling that you are safe, that you are like treasured friends. There are no exceptions. 


So, if you are in a treasured relationship, ask yourself if you feel that safety so essential to trust and the ability to truly love. If not, perhaps it’s time to look at that and see if perhaps there’s a way to make the changes necessary to feel safe and accepting of one another again.


If you are living solo, and long to find the next love of your life, now you know that this next love will begin with friendship. That you will feel safe from the first coffee date onward. Trust yourself and open your heart. You will know the difference between authentic healthy love simply by asking, “Does this person make me feel safe?” You deserve to feel safe and loved by another. 


Are you tired of watching sunsets alone and ready to find an amazing person who makes you feel safe? Don’t be afraid. I am here to join you as your guide on this journey to love.

Contact me and we will set up a complimentary session and get you on your way to love!

Donna Bailey, MS
Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups
Donna’s Big RED Chair

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Big Red Chair



Do You Wade in or Jump In???


We dove in! Took a deep breath over and over. Hung our hearts out to dry. Drank enough coffee at those coffee shops to need a teeth whitening…and we prayed, cried, gave up in despair, picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off… and we met someone who looks just like the picture online and in our minds. Now what?


There’s enough oxytocin flowing to fill a koi pond and when you spend time together, it feels as if time stands still. Eager to know this new person, you begin to ask him/her about life, love, children, work, plans for retirement, favorite foods, whether they want to thrash Donald Trump. The questions help you make some sense out of so much you don’t know.  Our minds want to evaluate, gather data and make judgments. Bless that mind’s heart. It’s working so hard to keep us safe. You gotta love it. And, you gotta watch it.


Meeting someone new that you feel attracted to feels like a miracle. It’s wonderful to finally have someone open a door, put his hand on your back when you cross streets and send you texts and photos of his dog. You want to connect, feel close and connected and one way human beings develop intimacy is through sharing stories.  But how do we know which stories to share and when the right time has arrived for sharing them?


When you meet someone new, remember that discovery takes time. Each person has history and by the time we are over 50, we’ve lived, loved and felt the pain of loss over and over. We are tender and more reticent to open ourselves to being hurt and disappointed yet again. It doesn’t mean we aren’t ready for love, simply that we are human and need to be treated with great tenderness.


I know that urge to want to know everything and to share everything that will help create the intimacy and closeness that I love in relationship, especially for a storyteller like me.  It’s tempting to ask or reveal too much too soon or to ask the new person in my life to share his history before he’s ready.


When you hear yourself sounding like an FBI agent during an interrogation, or you see them looking at their cell phone right smack in the middle of a sentence, it might be a clue to stop and assess. Think of you and that other person as tulips in Spring. All tucked in, closely guarded for a reason…they need time before they are ready to open. Human beings open when they feel safe and ready and not one of us has the same conditions for that to happen. So, better to take it slowly and one step at the time. If it’s a match that has a chance to grow into more, the soil of trust will have been created on which a foundation can be built.

Are you tired of watching sunsets alone, wanting to open up your heart? Ready to do whatever it takes to find someone special to share this next amazing chapter of your life?

 Call me at 510-817-4242 or email me at to schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session. 

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big Red Chair


Big Red Chair

Just Who Are you NOW?

When my babies were young, I was talking with my dearest friend, offering her what I thought was “wisdom” in a struggle she faced. I’m going to blame it on being too young to know better, but I thought unsolicited advice was what friends wanted, and Lord knows I’ve always had plenty of that to offer! Little did I know that advice is often laced with our own poison…judgment. 


The wisdom came anyway and before I could dot the “I”, she fired back, “You know, Donna, you have an image of me that you just won’t let go of. You won’t let me change or be different than who you think I am.” Angry, she got up and walked out the door. In my surprise and my guilt and shame for what I’d said, I still GOT IT. And, I never forgot it, though many many times in my life I have regressed and done it again and again.


Enjoying a lovely evening out this week with a delightful new friend we talked about  our desire to connect, have community and friends who show up and meet us halfway most of the time. She told me a story about a recent disappointment in a friendship very important in her life. The details aren’t important, but what she said took me back to what had happened over tea with that friend “back in the day”.  She said it so well…“Sometimes people won’t let us change. They only see us the way they always have.” 


I owned a tea room once in a little California seaside town. The “ladies who lunch” were often in their late 80’s and 90’s. I often asked them for their secret to life. It was always the same…“Keep moving, don’t sit down in front of a tv, learn something every day, and keep changing and growing.” One woman said, “When you stop growing, you’re dead!”


Are you growing and learning? If you’re reading this, you’re not dead yet! And, can you allow that friend of yours to grow and change, provided she or he is still alive? I hope you will open your eyes to how pigeon-holing yourself will limit the joy of change. I hope that you will allow others around you to change, and notice and celebrate it. And, most importantly, that you will listen carefully, aware of that deadly judgment, and ask questions before you write your own script about someone else.

Now, “Sally forth!” and Live, Love and Enjoy those changes! Take a risk today to see yourself as you are NOW!


Are you ready to look forward and find someone to love?

You’ve changed since your last relationship and when you learn who you are now, you’ll be able to know who you’d like to share this amazing chapter of your sweet life.

I’m honored to be your guide and when you’re ready, I offer a Complimentary Intake Session. Call me or email me.



Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big Red Chair

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