Most of us have, at some point, felt lost when dating. That awful Tinder date. That moment of despair being single and not understanding why. That heartbreaking breakup. But, as clueless as most of us felt at some point or another, there is hope. There are people who successfully coach others when it comes to love and dating. People who may not have all the answers, but who can help empower and enlighten us all to find our feet. And they’ve got the testimonials to back up their work — it’s not some airy fairy advice that garners no results.
Maxine Clancy is one such coach.
I’ve known Maxine for years — we used to belong to some of the same social circles back in London, but I’d not spoken to her for a very long time, nor did I know anything about her work. So I decided to do an interview for Valentine’s Day. I figured it was the one day most people needed some encouragement where love is concerned! And I’m happy I did — she has some very valid points that I found helpful. Having trained as a life coach myself, I’ve seen a lot of coaching advice and some is, let’s say, not exactly what I’d call helpful…
So, let’s have a look at Maxine’s advice for healing after a breakup, finding love and various other tidbits!
What’s the first advice you give to someone after divorce, or a break-up?
Time doesn’t heal. You have to actively participate in your healing. If you don’t, time might take the edge off the pain, but you won’t heal. If you don’t heal, you’ll repeat the same patterns that led to the breakup in the first place. If you don’t want to repeat the patterns, you have to do the inner work.
Love transmutes pain and suffering. Many people who get hurt, cut themselves off from love. To heal they need to connect to the source to the love within them. The divine love within them.
Love was never the problem. The relationship was the problem.
What are three things a woman should do straight after a break-up?
Go cold turkey on social media, or make sure you unfollow your ex’s posts. A lot of the time we are keeping our energy and focus on what the other person is doing. There’s the dreaded “fear of missing out (FOMO).” Don’t fall for it. You’re not missing out. If you keep looking at their social media, you keep perpetuating the pain and suffering. Stop stalking them.
If there’s someone else involved (i.e. they’re dating someone else), don’t compare yourself to them.
Someone else’s behavior is usually about them, not you. When you go through a break-up you often start telling yourself “if they loved me they would do this or that.” We equate love with behavior, but people’s behavior is more about what’s going on inside them and less about you. Remember, when divorce is happening, there is a lot of fear and people do things they wouldn’t normally do. They’re just acting from a place of fear, or hurt. So what they do on social media is about them, not you.
I read your tips for women after divorce and was happy to see that it’s a holistic approach. Having worked as a writer both in the field of dating and health, I have read research that point out that a good workout followed by carbs can starve off a “low” after the “high” of being in love has faded. However, I disagree that coffee shouldn’t be consumed. Coffee, according to my research, so long as it’s enjoyed in moderation, is great for your health. So, why no coffee?
Coffee is a stimulant. When you go through a breakup you’re emotional. In shock, even. Often you can’t eat as you feel sick, when you’re in stress. You are in a fight or flight mode. The amount of cortisol that’s in the body goes up, which messes with your stomach fluids. Stimulants increase this.
It’s not that you can’t have coffee, or a glass of wine, it’s just that it’s better avoided if you’re feeling nauseous already.
If you want to stop feeling stress or anxiety, try connecting with your heart.
You can find Maxine’s advice for going through/recovering from a breakup here.
Do you believe in soul mates? Why/why not?
I do. I believe you have more than one. A soul mate is not necessarily the one person in your life who is the one.
I think there’s a romanticized illusion with soul mates. I believe we have soul groups. This could be friends and family too and they are the people who help a soul fulfill its purpose. For me that was my ex husband — he taught me what I was meant to learn to get to where I am today.
Soul mates are souls who understand and connect.
Do you think women should use dating apps? I read your report on it, but in short?
Yes, dating apps and websites are great for various reasons — they get you out there, meeting people.
One thing to bear in mind is that certain apps are for certain ages. If you’re quite serious, you may want to pay for a paid dating site.
Go out there and meet people, just be mindful that it’s just that. People aren’t necessarily who they say they are. You’ll meet all sorts. You’ve been chatting online for a while, building an illusion of who you think that person is. It might not be who they are. Often you’re having a fantasy relationship. Some people use it to avoid meeting people. Spending hours and hours online.
That’s why I say: do it consciously. Do it to meet people, but don’t get caught up in it.
You can find Maxine’s advice about dating apps here.
What are the three most important things a woman should consider when looking for love?
Firstly, can I be friends with this person?
Often when going on a date, we go there looking for chemistry. But could you be friends with this person?
Secondly, trust and honesty. Are people who they say they are?
Thirdly, look at their values. What do you both value? The important values need to be the same, or complimentary. Ask yourself if your values can come together? Also, how can you support each other’s value systems in creating a life together?
If you want a long-term relationship, your’re really looking for someone who wants to develop a conscious relationship [someone who doesn’t act out old patterns on autopilot].
When developing a conscious relationship, you have to remove all the blocks for “commitment to closeness”. You want to have that commitment to closeness together. To have it you have to find out what stops you from being close. You want to be with someone who has similar ideas about closeness and relationships.
There is a great book on the topic: Conscious Loving: the Journey to Co-Commitment by Gay Hendricks and Kathlyn Hendricks.
What are the main blocks women have when looking for love?
Many men and women have the same block: they think they’re unworthy of love. Most women will also say there’s not enough good men out there. A lot of people still carry fear about past relationships [i.e. thinking they’ll relive them]. There’s also often a lack of self-belief, or self-worth. Many people actually believe it’s more painful to have love, than not have love in their lives [see above about thinking relationship patterns equal love].
If you don’t heal, you’ll use past associations to attract love. [I.e. you’ll relive your past, only in a slightly different format as you’ll be attracted to people who make you feel the same, or you’ll act in ways to achieve it.]
Many people have false beliefs around love and what love is and what a loving relationship is. If that doesn’t change, you and your partner will keep co-creating that. What we think about we create.
How do you change your approach to love and relationships?
You have to do the inner work. You have to work at the energy level clearing of old beliefs and patterns. And connect to source energy.
Ask yourself: where/how are you not loving towards yourself and others? We have to be on the same frequency as what we want to attract in life. You have to create and be a matching energetic field for what you want. I.e. become loving towards yourself and others.
You can find Maxine’s no-nonsense, step-by-step advice for finding love here.
What are the best lessons you’ve learned from your own love life?
In my second marriage, I thought I was loving my partner unconditionally. When we broke up, I realized I wasn’t. In divorce I learnt what unconditional love is. Love is a choice. We don’t fall in or out of love. It’s something we choose every day. It’s very easy to love people when they do what we want them to do. [Not so easy when they don’t do what we want them to do.] It taught me how to love myself unconditionally as well. Really learnt how the energy that we come to anything with, is going to change the dynamic of the relationship. If we’re constantly looking for problems, then we will create those sort of things.
I learnt how to set good and healthy boundaries, as well as how to value and express my needs. [You can do both while also unconditionally loving someone.]
What’s your funniest Tinder story?
My sister went out the toilet window once to escape a date…
Mostly bad dates are just ones where either you turn up and they look nothing like their profile pictures, or you realize within five minutes that you have absolutely nothing in common.
What’s the most empowering thing a woman can tell herself?
That she’s enough and she’s a powerful creator. That she’s responsible for her happiness. No one can determine your happiness but you. A friend of mine committed suicide last week. Many women are depressed if they are lonely, blaming themselves and I fear it causes depression. What would you tell someone who comes to you feeling despair? Ahead of Valentine’s Day when many singles feel like failures, how can they overcome their despair?
Suicide gives the illusion we are in control of something. We don’t know what happens after we die. [When we are depressed] it’s the fear is talking. We are in our own fear story. Love transmutes pain. If you actually start to connect to the infinite being of love. Every single cell in our body is constantly shifting and changing. If you really feel like you can’t create what you want, get help. You can also reach out to friends, or Facebook groups.
Change can happen in a heartbeat, as Tony Robbins says. Change can happen so quickly if you just start to create your vibration [i.e. take charge of your thoughts and feelings and shift them]. Just start with focusing on gratitude. It can be a small thing. Anything you’re grateful for. Vibrations have been measured for our feelings — anything over 500 is love and gratitude is at 750. Just start feeling grateful. Shift your current feeling. Ask for help.
Remember with love, you’re not looking to meet lots and lots of people. Just the one. But you have to love yourself first.
How do you become aware of your own patterns?
As yourself: What is my pattern? What story do I keep replaying? You can do a timeline and write out all your relationships. You start to see your patterns. Whether you reject, are rejected, have abandonment issues, etc. What are the phrases you keep saying? Ask yourself: What story am I in?
If you want you can write out the story. Once upon a time I met a boy/girl and x, y, z happened… Usually your patterns are based around your beliefs, perception and assumptions.
What’s the one thing you’d like to add?
This is what I believe: we are really powerful. We are creative beings and everything that shows up in our reality, is a reflection of where our focus has been. That gives us the power to recognize the ability that we can change it. Taking responsibility and choosing that we can be happy and loved. Happy about life. Don’t give your power away to anything in your life that you don’t want to experience. Once you change your focus, life will be more effortless. Your experience around it will change. The attitude with which you show up changes the outcome. You can be really powerful in love. Do the inner work. That will help shift everything.
If you want to find out more about Maxine, please have a look at her website: https://maxineclancy.com