Roadblocks to Love

What DO We Want in Love Now?


Recently I met a man online who was new to the scene. Bright, articulate and very clear about what he wasn’t looking for in a woman and his next relationship. Reading it, I thought, “I like how clear he is. He’s honest and confident and really a bright man…an amazing writer and he can spell!” I could almost feel the chemicals being released in my body and it felt wonderful, that sweet sensation letting me know I wasn’t dead yet.


At the same moment those hormones were taking off their pajamas, a light came on not only because I couldn’t sleep, but because I was about to sleepwalk right back into a familiar place…a black hole that I’d fallen into many times before. I felt a smile come across my face and like a recovering alcoholic, I knew this time I would take a different street even though there was a lot of comfort in that hole.


I’m addicted to the mysterious man who is a bit of an unknown quantity. He’s “almost there” or “exploring” love and relationships, and always, very “conscious”. He says he wants love in his life, he’s happy with his life, likes living alone but wants to find someone special to spend time with and share some things in his life sometimes. You get the picture, but do you get the attraction? It’s a bit like Ernest Hemingway with a dash of Richard Gere. Illusive, handsome, bright, creative, romantic and ever so charming. I’ve had some amazing food with these men. Fine wines, beautiful settings in gorgeous locations, romantic sails and even spent some wonderful holidays right out of a movie set. What more could a woman ask for? 


I’ve grown over the years, perhaps, grown up. Still drawn to those men who sort of want a relationship. I now know that although the honeymoon will be amazing, what will follow for me at least,  is the emptiness, confusion, struggle and drama that belongs in that Hemingway novel but not in my precious life. Now, I know to walk around that hole, take another street. That other street is less familiar and requires more from me than blithely following those delicious hormones down the road. Now, I must choose what is right for me and that requires knowing what that truly IS. It means facing my fear that he might not be out there, or at least within 50 miles of me. And the temptation to settle can return again and again when that fear appears.


Isn’t being a grown up a wonderful thing? It may be hard work at times, but the rewards are so amazing. When I find the man I truly want and deserve, I’ll happily walk over those spent fireworks that lay on the ground,  holding the hand of someone who wants what I want. The journey begins with knowing what that is.


Do you know yourself, who you are NOW, and what you really want in your next amazing relationship? Begin there because when you know who you are and what you want, you can know them when you see them. 

I’m here to hold your hand, keep you motivated and teach you how to trust yourself…and see dating as an adventure!
Let’s meet each other and get you on the road to finding love again. For a complimentary 30-minute session, give me a call at 510-817-4242 or email me at to set up a time to talk.


Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair

Big Red Chair

Know What Men Find MOST Attractive? Prepare to be Surprised!!




So, how many women reading this think men are looking for younger women? How about this one…Men are only interested in sex. Well, you are RIGHT!!  Men are interested in sex, but not ONLY in sex. And, they are attracted to younger women, but not to establish relationships, necessarily. There are, of course, men who are happily partnered with younger women, but there’s more than age that makes him care for her. And, the things that make a man want to be with you are not about how old you are. There’s so much you don’t know about what men want and need in relationships. It’s not your fault, by the way. We aren’t taught about what real relationships are built on, so I hope I can offer some new insights, so that you don’t waste your time trying to squeeze into a size 2, or spent a fortune on a new dress every time you go out on a date. More important to me is that you begin to learn the truth, the FACTS about men and stay open to some new beliefs about loving them and allowing them to return that love. Until we women do that, we may find ourselves alone, or feeling alone even in our long-term relationships.


There are two kinds of attraction. One is “Sexual Attraction” and the other, “Romance and Emotional Involvement”. Most of us know only the things the media taught us, and that our parents may not have taught us, thus we carry a heavy load of misinformation. Sexual attraction we know lots about. That’s what keeps the cosmetic industry going strong, not to mention Victoria’s Secret. It’s what keeps that other woman’s voice chattering away in our heads, “You aren’t pretty enough to get anybody”. “Who would want a woman in that size dress?” And God forbid you have had a mastectomy. Those voices are heavy and persistent. But, I want you to know what’s true about you, and that men are looking for women beyond the sexual attraction “phase”. 


We forget our DNA hasn’t changed that much, and we are all still cavemen and women. Don’t underestimate that. Did you know that one of the 4 most important things men look for in a woman during the Sexual Attraction phase is SHINY HAIR! Go advertisers!! Count how many commercials you see for those products. Why does it matter? Because in the caveman era, shiny hair was a sign that a woman had enough body fat to produce it, and the more body fat, the more fertile…and that’s what it was all about for them then. Survival. Still, it’s in that DNA of men today as are all things sexual,  including attraction to  great bodies (of all sizes and shapes), that zaza ZOOM of sexual energy. So, we naturally can believe they only care about our looks and whether or not we are sexually appealing. But there’s more, and it’s this “more” that will determine whether or not a man will find you the kind of woman he is looking for in a partner. Women who have these qualities are the “Keepers”, so if that’s what you are seeking…look for my next Blog Post and I’ll show you what truly matters to men looking for love, or keeping the love they’ve found! And, by the way, if you’re looking for great sex in your life and not interested in going beyond that stage, that’s OK too. There are men out there who share that vision too and we all get to choose a path that makes us happy. If you want more in your next relationship…stay tuned. 


Are you tired of watching sunsets alone and ready to find someone special to share this next amazing chapter of your life? Ready to learn more about yourself and kick those roadblocks to the side of the road so he or she can find you? I’d be honored to be your guide!

Let’s talk and see what will give you the confidence, skills and moxie to do whatever it takes to find love again!


Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair


Why I Don’t Want to be “Special” Ever Again



When I was barely walking, my Daddy chose me to be his special little girl. Any three year old is the center of the universe because that’s what 3’s are about. And, when parents are doing their job, they love them through it and teach them that though they are precious, there are others who share the world.

As they grow, the child feels her uniqueness and how she fits into a shared universe.


My “specialness “was different. Sadly, Daddy never felt special, loved or accepted for the wonderful child he was. He married a beautiful woman who needed the kind of love her parents couldn’t show her either.  Their marriage was rife with trouble from the beginning. It included my father’s alcoholism, and my mother’s lifetime of battling depression.  Two people desperately looking for someone to save them, give them what they longed for. Someone to fill the holes in their sweet souls.


My Daddy took me everywhere, even to the bars where I sat on high bar stools being fed pickled eggs while he gambled. Every night when he’d come home from work, I’d look forward to sitting out on the back stoop with him while he told me about his day…more than any 4 year-old should know. And, not a day passed that he didn’t tell me he wouldn’t want to live without me. Imagine that little girl feeling so important and “loved”.


Like many things in my life, I didn’t realize how a seemingly good feeling of being special was setting my relationships with men up to fail. There were many factors in why I struggled in those relationships, but I now know that I continued to seek that feeling I had as a little girl with each man I met. It was a set up for them, and for me. The good news is that over time, I did learn the difference between the need to feel “terminally special”, and real love.


Do you find yourself saying, “I’m looking for someone special”. Perhaps you feel, “He makes me feel special.” It feels wonderful and in healthy balance, it’s nice to get those flowers, have him pick up the check, or get a text asking how that meeting went you were worried about. That kind of special is fabulous. But there’s another kind that is deadly to relationships.


“You complete me”…a line from the movie, “Jerry Maguire” got into our souls and there’s no lack of reinforcement every day in our music, romantic comedies, books and magazines. But, here’s what happens when you need someone to complete you…


When we single someone out as the source of our happiness, it comes from the belief that we’re not enough, empty or that our own life is dull, meaningless or perhaps painful. Then, we give that person the responsibility or power to save us from our sense of wanting and lack and we then turn over our sense of happiness to them.  When they do anything that doesn’t make us happy, it’s their fault. Do we know we’re doing this?  No. It feels normal to most of us, but the pressure on our partners to make and keep us happy is a burden nobody should have to bear.  The fatal flaw in “you complete me” thinking and feeling is that if someone has that much power to make you happy, you have also given them the power to render you incomplete and unhappy when they leave or don’t do things that make you happy every time you feel you deserve it.


I have been in relationships with men in which that pattern with my Daddy was the operating system. They made me very happy, I did feel special until their behavior turned cold and genuinely emotionally abusive. Even though that was painful, I often stayed in the relationships too long, put up with things no woman should…all because I loved the intensity I felt when they made me feel special. They knew how to do that really well. My little girl self remembered how wonderful it felt but I had to learn that the price I paid was too high. Specialness is rather like a drug. I had to learn one day at a time that I was special with or without a man in my life. I am enough whether alone or in relationship. And, that though I miss being in relationship, I remain complete while I open myself to love that I’ve yet to discover.


Real love happens when two people bring whole selves to each other. And yes, they do special things for each other. They also make mistakes, can hurt each other and are highly imperfect much of the time. And, they don’t assign the role of “Happiness Creator” or “Savior” to one another. Both have responsibility for their own happiness, and are always mindful of how their behavior affects their beloved. When things create unhappiness…they talk about it.


Don’t allow yourself to reside on a pedestal and be aware if you’ve put someone else up there. Pedestals topple and someone gets hurt every time. Keep your feet on the ground except when you tango or feel the wind in your hair when he surprises you with a weekend getaway. That’s really special!


If you’re tired of watching sunsets alone and want to find a completely wonderful person to share this next amazing chapter of your life, I can show you how!

Call me at 510-817-4242 or email me today at

We’ll plan a Complimentary Session to talk about how to bring a wonderful love into your life!


Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big Red Chair


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