Are You Choosing or Backing Into Love?



A few years ago, I met an amazing man in Phoenix one winter weekend. I knew him from walking the beautiful beaches of Southern Maine, talking endlessly about life, work, family and what I wanted for my life. A “retired” Jesuit priest turned amazing career counselor, Al was calm, direct and never shied away from the truth as he saw it. We shared that way of being and living, so it was no surprise when he showed up as himself in that restaurant.


I had been in a really painful place that, honestly, was quite foreign to me. I have always seemed to know what I wanted to do in my life and was so fortunate to have been doing it. Counseling teenagers, women and men who found themselves having to make big decisions about their lives, speaking in schools to young people eager to be heard and to feel better about themselves…and more and more wonderful work that was so perfect for me. Suddenly, having moved to California and finding myself on what felt like another planet, I had no idea what I wanted to do and so, called Al for a consult.


We sat over tea, his questions always exactly the right ones, I told him I had always been happy in my work life. That everything I had done I loved, and asked him, “What happened? Why don’t I know what I want to do now?”  He nailed it and I felt at first like he had also nailed me. I sat unable to say a word when he said something that changed my life. “Donna, I know you liked the work you did, but you never chose it.” Incensed, I fought back, “Of course I chose to do it.” Al, still calm as a cucumber said, “You didn’t choose it. It chose you. It was there and it seemed like you’d enjoy it, but you didn’t decide you wanted to do that, then go find it…you see, you didn’t choose it.”


Now, how does this apply to finding love, our special someone with whom we want to spend this chapter of our lives? I hear it now in ways I may not have had it not been for Al. Clients who say things like this…

-“I don’t really know what I want. I just try to stay open and see if it works when I meet someone.”

-“Oh, I’m fine with most anybody.”

-“I think there’s a soulmate out there and I will know when I find them.”

-“Nobody’s perfect, so I’d just as soon be with him as somebody I don’t know.”

Would you look for a job without more information about yourself and what you wanted in that job? Would you look for a new car, a home, or plan a pregnancy without really thinking the decision through and being clear about just what will make you happy?  Why then is finding a relationship partner, one of the most important things in our lives so different??


Why do so many people just back into a relationship when taking the time to really think about what and who will make them happy is such a good plan? Maybe it seems less romantic? A bit cold? WRONG! It is the most loving thing you can do for your sweet self. You are worth getting what you want. First, you have to take the time to know what and who that is. Don’t back in this time! Take the time to get to know who you are, then you’ll know exactly what you are looking for in someone else.

If you really want to find someone to love, you need to know what you want…and they will be there.

Tired of the turnover in your dating and relationship life and wish you could find a “keeper”?

We can work together to create the clarity and direction you need to find the perfectly imperfect sweetheart.

Call or email me to schedule a “Choosing Love” Session
Donna Bailey, MS
Coach, Speaker,Writer and Expert, Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”
When you’re done with watching sunsets alone and really ready to find love for your next chapter of life, we can make it happen!

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  1. […] week’s blog, “Are You Choosing or Backing Into Love” sent readers into somewhat of a frenzy. Many didn’t agree with me that the best way to a […]

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