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It was my birthday on Monday. My wife made me a beach party, a fondue dinner, and got me an Amazon Kindle. My mom sent me a karaoke machine. My sister informed me she just got engaged. These are the women who mean the most to me, and I am incredibly grateful to have them in my life.

So while material gifts are amazing, nothing sent a chill up my spine like this letter that I received from Elizabeth today.

The other women who mean the most to me? You. My readers. But especially my clients, who trust me to guide them through tumultuous and emotional times, even when all hope seems lost.

So while material gifts are amazing, nothing sent a chill up my spine like this letter that I received from Elizabeth today. 38, attractive and articulate, Elizabeth received four months of dating coaching from me this spring, and she already seems to have an entirely new attitude about dating.

And since I can’t share the karaoke machine with you, I thought you’d appreciate this birthday gift: The gift of hope.

Hi Evan,

It’s been a little over a month since our last coaching session and I just wanted to touch base to let you know how things have been going.

In a word: Amazing. Wonderful. Transformational. Ok, that’s more than one word…and I can fill this email with countless adjectives about how great things have been. But in the spirit of writing stories that “show don’t tell” (wherever would I have learned that?) 😉 here are just a few examples.

In addition to writing adjective-free profiles, every single one of the techniques you taught me has yielded fantastic results. I’ve had more guys than ever – who I am interested in getting to know – want to communicate with me and meet me. My inbox is full. My phone is ringing. My nights are getting booked up with dates!

But, as invaluable as they have been, the greatest lesson I learned from working with you has nothing to do with techniques. It has to do with a shift in my mindset about dating.

Before, I would put a lot of hope and expectation into every encounter and into any new guy I’d start to date. This inevitably led to big disappointment when things didn’t work out. Earlier this year, I found myself at my wit’s end – once again left wondering what went wrong, or what I did wrong, after another non-starter relationship. And that’s when I contacted you…and what led to my breakthrough.

Actually, you broke through to me by helping me shift my perspective. It took a while :-)…but I finally get what you mean when you talk about letting go of control. More specifically, letting go of trying to control what I can’t control – namely, anyone other than myself. Letting go has given me confidence. It’s given me choice. But, most of all, it has set me free. From anxiety (will he call/care/commit?). From worry (why isn’t he calling/caring/committing?). And from self-doubt (what am I saying/doing wrong?).

By letting go I’ve found a sense of peace around my dating that I’ve never had before. I now know not every date I go on has to, or will, mean something. And instead of sweating the “what does it all mean?!” stuff, I’m focused only on having fun and being a fun date. It’s been working for me and it appears to be working for my dates. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a snippet from an email I received the morning after a recent date I went on:

“By letting go I’ve found a sense of peace around my dating that I’ve never had before.”

“I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed spending a few hours with you yesterday.  Your down-to-earth attitude and easy-going demeanor made me feel at ease.  I hope we can meet again and pick up where we left off.”

Don’t get me wrong, while all of this has been truly great, there are days that aren’t so great. I sometimes still get frustrated that I haven’t met “him” yet – you know, the guy who’ll end up being my boyfriend and, eventually, my husband. And, even though I’m much more lighthearted about the dating process, I know the true test will come when I meet someone who I’m really interested in and start dating regularly. But I also know when that happens, and I need help, you’re just a phone call away.

But, for now, that’s really not the point. All I know is that, even with the occasional bump in the road, if the last month was any indication of what the journey to find him will be like, and then I’m going to like this ride!

Thank you so much for giving me the jump start I needed to get going…and to keep going!

Best,

Elizabeth