Nerves: How to Squish Those Butterflies

I audition often–probably not as often as I should, but that’s not the point. I audition regularly enough, so basically I interview, put myself out on the line, open my heart and soul, through a song or a text to complete strangers with a mere hope that they’ll want and choose me. Insert horrific kick ball team selection moments here–it feels terrible to be picked last, or if in theater, not at all.

At the moment of writing this I’m headed to an audition. It’s a big one for me. I’m on a subway and I’m trying to do breathing exercises and releasing tension in my shoulders and listening to other music–anything that will take my focus away from the flip-flopping in my stomach, the wiggly legs, and the voices in my head.
The thing about ignoring problems is that they always butt their head back in. I’m at a sensitive equilibrium, and any shift in my breathing, my stomach or makes me jolt out of it. I’m at an intermediate level of being able to keep my nerves in check, because I have to do it so often. But I’m not going to lie, sometimes I let the nerves win. I’m staring success in the face and I’m going to let my nerves get to me. Oh. I’ll fight them, but they’ll still win. WHY? Why am I going to let a flip-flopping stomach and some wobbly knees take over and ultimately take away my chance?

Lets break down nerves, in a logical thinking way. Ultimately, nerves are created by fears. If you figure out your fears and face them, they should be easier to conquer. Both LL and I live by the thought that if you look at your fear, figure out the worst-case scenario that the situation could bring and then come to terms with the worst possible, there is no reason to be afraid anymore. For instance: the worst possible situation that could happen in the audition I’m headed to is that I’ll say something completely offensive, look completely unprepared, and not perform perfectly: making a bad impression and leading the people in the room to think I’m unprofessional and untalented. Let me dissect this for you and for me, since it always helps to rationalize out a situation to ground yourself. First, I wouldn’t say anything offensive–I’m more professional than that. Second, I doubt I’ll look unprepared, I looked over this music and audition materials for five hours last night—I’ve got this. Looking like I’m unprofessional and untalented—well, both are perspectives, if you think about it. It’s someone else’s perspective of me—which might book me a job, but is ultimately none of my business what someone else thinks of me. They’ll see me and meet me for maybe 10 minutes, which paired with my resume is enough to give me a job, but not enough to know me. So, what I’m trying to say with all of this is the worst could happen, but I’m prepared enough that it shouldn’t all just explode. And, better yet, no one will die or be harmed in any way.

“Nerves” come from fears. We all know that. I’m nervous because I fear I’m not going to get a role. Actually worse, I’m nervous because I’m afraid I’m not an actress, and I’ve put all of this time, energy, and money into being one. Wait—whaaaaat? I AM an actress. I’ve booked many gigs—some that have actually paid me. So, seemingly my nerves and fears are silly.

So how do you beat them? By continually calling them out for what they are and confirming your status as a fantastic, wonderful, unique, talent in the world.

Here are some steps:

1) When you start to feel the nerves, call them out—hey nerves, you’re just fear.

2) Dig deep and figure out what the root of the fear is: For me and auditions and job interviews, its feeling like I’m not good enough (this is generally the root of all nerves.)

Going on a first date: nervous that they won’t like you (“Not good enough”). Nervous that they aren’t who they say they are (Fear of someone lying to you—which you can’t determine until you get there. But you CAN always leave).

Quitting a job, or telling someone some heavy information: fear that they will hate you forever and will spread it around that you’re a terrible person (sometimes these are really silly reactions. If they hate you forever, well at least your last act was honesty. And if a rumor is spread around that I’m a terrible person for being honest… so be it.)

Traveling nerves are a bit of a different creature, but still, it’s a rare chance that your plane will crash, your suitcase will get lost, you’ll die… just make sure to get insurance and take the precautions you feel will make you more safe.

3) Breathe and talk through that fear, or that worst case scenario. Find a safe place, and a safe person to talk to—this does work best with a friend. I find that talking things out to others, and/or writing them out help get them outside of your body and mind, and therefore are no longer part of you. So talk it out; write it out; GET IT OUT.

4) Understand yourself and your fear—I’m not a therapist and I can’t help you completely work through everything, but I’m sure there is a root of your terror. My theatrical ones are that I’m not good enough to book another job, because I see so many of my friends booking work when I don’t. Well, its just not my time. And my close friends, and mother will tell you I’m insane having these thoughts—I did seven shows in 2014. Already this year I’ve done two play readings, am cast in a show, and am in the process of booking another. It will all be ok. (Just FYI, I didn’t book the original show that inspired this post—on this side of it, I’m totally fine; not crying, berating myself, hating myself, etc. Just moving on to the next.

5) Move on to the next. Or the first. Once you’ve talked through the fear, told yourself that it is silly—yes, please use the verbage “its silly” because really, it IS silly that you don’t feel good enough, or that someone will hate you, or that you’re going to die for doing an every day thing. (If you’re terrified of scaling Mt. Everest, that is something I can’t help you with in this blog. At LCL we can coach you through it—email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com to get started!!) Now that you’ve said the thing you fear is “silly” see how you feel.

6) Tell yourself that you are wonderful, awesome, courageous, and amazing. If you are not what this particular opportunity needs—GREAT! There will be another one that is BETTER for you, or you’ll understand reasons why you didn’t get this one. Maybe its because you didn’t really want it in the first place!

7) BE OPEN—this is a big one. After you’ve gone and done and got over your silly fear, listen to the world. If you’re looking for a job, tell your friends and listen to what they have to say. If you’re looking to date, get out there and try different opportunities—try joining clubs or groups instead of continually refreshing your Hinge pool. If you were afraid to tell someone big information, look at that relationship and question why you were afraid—is it you or them?

8) Dive back in! Yes, this is kind of part of number 7… but get back out there. The more you try the more you’ll get over the fears and nervousness. I’m nervous about singing auditions, but I’ll go in and give nary a care about reading auditions. I can cold read Shakespeare and you’d think I had it memorized. Because I’ve DONE so many and have achieved more success. The less nervous you are, the better you’ll do. I’ve conducted many job interviews and been on the casting side of theater—most of the time the person is hired because they are confident. Breed confidence!!

9) Check back in with your fears. If you can still tap them easily and call them “silly” then you’re doing great! If they’re still debilitating, you might want some stronger help than a blog!

Good luck! Remember, breathing is the opposite of nerves—if there is plenty of good warm breath in your stomach, there aren’t room for butterflies!

–Clare

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WE WERE NOMINATED! So, we pay it forward

liebster1 Hey loyal readers!  We love inspiring you, and we love the inspiration we get from you–especially our fellow bloggers!  We were nominated for a Liebster Award by JustAddTea! WE love you!!  and Love that you love us!  Anyhoo–we’ve followed The Rules, answered your questions, and want to pass on the love!  Go check out JustAddTea’s Blog after reading this! The purpose of the Liebster Award is to recognize up-and-coming new bloggers, bring exposure to them, and encourage networking between us. The Rules

  1. Link the person who nominated you to your blog post. Thank them and let them know you answered their questions. 2. Answer the 7 questions given to you by the nominator. 3. Nominate 5-11 other bloggers with a following of less than 500. 4. Create 7 questions for your nominees to answer. 5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them. 6. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.

Our answers to the questions posed to us:

  1. Why did you start blogging? We met up to reunite a cold evening in January and realized we were living very similar lives even though we are in different places. People are always asking us for advice. And we are constantly learning through our life trials. We thought we’d share experiences and inspire.
  2. What is your favorite blog post that you’ve written so far? LL: Sex With Friends Clare: Growing Out of Friends
  3. What do you do when you’re not blogging? Clare: actress/nanny in NYC and all the running around that entails! I’m also writing a work of fiction. LL: When I’m not blogging I’m coaching! I teach Pilates and coach teachers and studio owners on business and life goals. Enjoy a good book, Netflix and hiking, yoga…such an LA answer! Haha
  4. How do you come up with your blog ideas?  LL: life in general! Sometimes it’s simply an over heard conversation that gets me thinking. Often it’s hearing someone say something and my reaction to it. As in Don’t want it now. My now boyfriend then said “I just don’t know what I want right now” and my reaction was “I know what I want! I just don’t want it right now.” Clare: It’s life inspired. Usually it’s because I’ve had a phone conversation with a friend and a topic stands out and the hamster in my brain won’t stop running until I’m writing.
  5. Who inspired you most in your life? Clare: I’m generally inspired by anyone who is out there chasing a dream. LL: No one particular person…maybe when I was younger Santa Claus intrigued me because he could do so many things in one night! Now as an adult I find inspiration in people following their dreams and taking their own journey.
  6. Do you have a set place/time/routine when you blog?  Clare: I usually get inspired late at night–this probably comes from being a college student and writing those late night papers. I also get crazy inspiration on the subway and in the shower. LL: Nope! Maybe some day but I will write whenever I’m inspired and have a moment to get the idea down. I find my outdoor office is where I get complete blogs out and my comfy bed is where I can edit.
  7. Do you hope to impact people who read your blog?  Why or why not? LL: absolutely!! I want for people to have their best life. To be their best self. To have self love and self worth. My experiences good, bad, ugly and or sexy can help them reach their next level. Clare: definitely. We aspire to inspire hope and quench the fears in this sea of life. We want people live their best lives and share their experiences.

We nominate: This, That, and the other Thang  (You’re a DOLL!  We adore you!) Fearsome Beard  (You make us giggle, and wish we could have beards!) Wheat Free Dairy Free Kitchen (These are yummy! and LL is GF!!) Simply Delish  (Yeah, we like food. A LOT.  And we adore your blogs!) Hopelessly Romantic Cinderella   (Your adventures are entertaining!)   And now, nominees above, you have to answer our Questions: 1) What was your most exciting moment with your blog? 2) Craziest thing you’ve written or written about? 3) Did you inspire someone today? Why or Why not? 4) What is your favorite quote or saying? 5) If you could have one person read your blog—living or dead—who would it be? 6) Is the glass half empty or half full? Explain. 7) What do you want to be when you grow up?

Climbing the Career Ladder 

As you know from Take a Leap of Faith before I was a Pilates Instructor and Goals Coach, I was a retail manager. Before I was a store manager I was an assistant manager, a key holder, sales person, and before all that I was the cashier!  While I was a store manager, I was becoming a Pilates Instructor. Those were some long days, 15-20 hours a week training, and 50 hours a week managing a thriving retail store. After I finished my training I was teaching part time and managing full time. Doctors work less than I did! There came time when I had to choose. Spoiler alert: I chose Pilates. Stay tuned one day I’ll tell you more about that major decision. I began working as a Pilates instructor at a health club, and as history repeats itself I began climbing up the rungs.

I’m not writing this to tout my successes. Nope, I already know I’m great at what I do. I’m writing this because I’ve noticed that there are many people out there who think they can go from zero to sixty without accelerating through the other speeds. A friend-of-a-friend is unemployed. Has an awesome degree from a very well known university. The job he wants, most people don’t get without having over 10 years of experience. Part of the reason so much experience is desired, is so the right candidate can develop relationships with colleagues in that field. A position like he wants also requires a great amount of experience out in the field, that one doesn’t achieve without starting lower on the ladder. Do you see where I’m going with this?  He has to start lower and work his way up! Also, lower on the ladder doesn’t mean he is “lowly” it just means his experience is perfect for that job. I absolutely do want you to have your hearts desires. However, there are steps in between; there are experiences that need to be well experienced.  You aim for the highest high and the part from where you are now will take you through the route there. I promise! Unless you’re gifted with a company from family, or thin air (and even then I would hope you would want to see how all the moving parts work) you have to get your foot in the door. Show your awesome skills, learn from others and grow.

I started as a Pilates Instructor. Then I was promoted to Pilates Studio manager. After visioning experience running a small studio I was promoted to a bigger more challenging studio. A short time later I was promoted to Area Manager. I know in the future, with more experience there will be another rung! I knew years ago that I wanted the job I have now. But, without the experiences I gained I could not do the job I’m doing today.  I’ll get honest with you. At each rung there was a time I thought to myself “I’m above this. I could be doing something bigger, better with my time.” I saw the areas that were lacking my skills. I wanted to be up there. But, in hindsight I can tell you that I a) needed to gain the experience of that position so I could coach and develop those who would be in it b) I didn’t know all the moving parts from where I was on the ladder. With each rung I gained more insight into the rungs ahead.

We’re there days I wanted to throw in the towel? Yep! Sure, but I knew in my gut that was quitting on my bigger goals. The reason today I can coach those who come to me is because I stuck it out. I kept my focus and learned what I could so I could move up. I never waited for anyone to notice my hard work. I touted it and asked for more.  I shared my goals and perspectives and took advice and critiques so I could climb again. My advice for you is dream big.  Work that dream backwards until you have something “small” to work with. Work backward from the vision until you get to where you are today, right now.  For example, say you want to own your own coffee shop, and currently you’re a barista.  You start having a big dream and a little knowledge. Option A: go around talking about how you would do things if it was your cafe. Get frustrated that a bank won’t take you seriously or that you don’t have investors who can see your vision. Outcome: a whiny life, with a latte Option B: talk to the manager of the coffee shop. Tell them one day you’d like to run your own shop one day. Ask what it takes to move up the ladder. A great boss will see this as a compliment and take you under their wing. Your success makes them look good. Plus, you’ll gain lessons on ordering, hiring, scheduling etc. If you don’t get this mentor then 1) tell that person’s boss your dream or 2) interview at other coffee shops and tell them you are looking to learn. You love being a barista, but you also want to learn how to manage. Outcome: great on the job lessons. You’ll discover if you really enjoy managing people and what your strengths and weaknesses are.

Hopefully my friends friend will stop waiting for someone to give him the big dream job and go get the job he’s qualified for that will lead him toward dreamland. You’re exactly where you need to be right now. Isn’t that Amazing?

Xx~LL 

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!

How To Be Single

If you didn’t read my Valentine’s Survival post, you might not know, but I’m the single one of the Live ClareLesley pair.  Lesley has had her fair share of time being in the single’s pool–just go read her Duty Dating!  But here I am, staring down the start of my 36th year, and I’m single.  For New Years, one of my Goals was to give up dating.  Valentine’s Day, I deleted all dating apps off of my phone.  I decided, at this moment I can’t be bothered with them anymore.  I haven’t stopped dating, I just don’t want to deal with anyone hiding behind their phone or computer any longer–and lets face it, I was tired of having fake relationships with people I don’t even know, through a device.

There are many moments that I wish I had a plus one, but really, I’m in those lovely in-between years where everyone is having kids, and weddings are much less frequent.  So needing a date is not a requirement (not that anyone needs a plus one at a wedding–it’s just preferred).  I’ve become a whiz at how to handle singledom.  I live.  I thrive.  I’m happy!  I don’t understand why so many people hate and dread it.  Being single is a great thing! (A lot of friends in couples say to me that they sometimes wish they were single again because they envy the freedom or alone time or whatever.)  Yes, there isn’t a built in conversation partner in singledom, but hey, that doesn’t mean there isn’t one to be had!  Scroll through your phone or email list right now–I’ll bet you that there are at least five people that you have great conversations with that you haven’t talked to in a while.  Why not hit them up for a conversation, a glass of wine, a movie, an art show?

Being single isn’t being alone.  That is the first thing you have to understand and realize is that all “single” means is that you’re not in a pair.  It doesn’t mean that you’ll always be–unless you choose it.  It doesn’t mean that you’ll end up lonely and alone.  Those are all choices!  You can choose how you want to spend your days.

I’m not going to tell you that I’m always blissfully happy.  Sometimes I have a case of the “mean reds” as Holly Golightly calls them.  Most days are pretty great.  I get to choose all aspects of my day like what to have for dinner, and if I can take a gig on my own (which is sometimes, but rarely annoying).  I don’t have to be home at a specific time, but I don’t have someone to greet me when I get there either… well, my roommate is pretty awesome, but she’s not always home.  I have plenty of great relationships in my life.  But whether its a romantic one of platonic one, relationships do take work and time–whatever you want to get out of one, you have to put in.  People are busy, so reach out early and often!

Here are some tips on how to thrive as a single:

1) Go out and do things.  Yes it sounds simple, and not so simple all at the same time.  Join book clubs, meetups, sports teams, take music lessons or dance classes, join a choir or theater group.  What is it that you most want to do, or always wish you did, or do when you’re on vacation?  Start there and find a group to join!

2) Do things with friends!  If you want to go to the movies, the theater, art museums, concerts, out to eat, out for drinks–anything that you might do with a date–do with a friend!  Set up a weekly date or monthly date with the same, or with different friends.  Maybe even treat this time and they can treat the next (I LOVE this one because it feels like a date)!  Different friends will like different activities, and maybe will even introduce you to new things (and maybe even, wink wink, new people)!

3) Do things on your own!  If you want to go to the movies, the theater, art museums, concerts, out to eat, out for drinks–anything that you might do with a date–do by yourself!  You never know who you’ll meet, and you’ll find that you enjoy doing things on your own.  About the only thing I won’t do by myself is going out to dinner (and that is just because I’m not big on sitting at a table by myself).  I love going to the movies and the theater and even taking a picnic lunch on my own–its fun to people watch, and to see something and have something that is completely mine.  Often if I want to discuss it, I have friends and my parents who are always willing to hear about my adventures afterwards.

4) Find a mantra for yourself when you start to feel lonely, or pathetic, or sad.  For instance tell yourself that you are amazing and surround yourself with a great life.  Say it over and over.  Say it to yourself in the mirror.  Put happy thoughts on sticky notes and place them around the house for yourself to see.  Remind yourself that there is good in the world, and that you are good!  Think of the happy thoughts or the mantra whenever you start to feel down–stave away the sadness!

5) Keep being social.  Whatever this means to you–keep pursuing the avenues that will put you out in the world.  If you want to stay up on dating sites and apps, go for it!  If you want to have a night out with friends and go to bars or parties or gatherings and meet people and possible dates, do so!  You will only date if you keep looking.  Personally, I take sabbaticals from dating.  I will be active for a few months and then take a couple of months off and focus on me–usually, I’m busy doing projects and shows anyway!  To be bluntly honest, dating drives me crazy.  So much rejection happens before you find a good one.  That’s a LOT of negativity, even for my Pollyanna optimism.  Vacations from anything are good for the soul.  Go focus on yourself or friendships for a month or two, and then dive back in, refreshed.

6) Remember that all the love you need is coming at you at any given moment.  It might not be from the exact direction and in the large amount from one person you are looking for, but it is surrounding you.  Your parents, friends, relatives, co-workers all want you to be happy and loved.  And love begets love: so go out and give love to friends, relatives, the homeless, animals, through a mentor program, etc!  You’ll most likely get more love in return!

7) Also remember that everyone feels lonely and alone some days–even those with people sleeping next to them.  No one’s situation is continually perfect.  There are ups and downs of coupledom and singledom no matter who you are.  Its funny in a society that continually allows us to connect, we have put up the biggest walls.  Get out and go meet up with people face to face.  Or even just take a walk or a drive that is different from your norm–changing up your routine is a great jumpstart to happiness.  Being with some one is great, but its also nice to have a little quiet.

8) Get friendly with the quiet times.  You have to be able to live in moments of silence.  I’ve found that I love and treasure them.  They are haaaaarrrrrd at the beginning, but they do get easier.  Find a quiet thing for yourself to do.  I’m a big fan of journaling.  Also lists help you take control.  Maybe yours is knitting, reading magazines, playing a game, working on a puzzle, writing, golfing, swimming, rock climbing.  Whatever it is, make time for it and yourself.  Be aware of your thoughts.

9) Speaking of which: Be aware of your thoughts.  Let them run their course.  If you cannot deal with them at this moment, don’t ignore them; instead tell the thought you don’t have time right now and you’ll get back to it.  I had a teacher in college that said, “you have to acknowledge the elephant in the room before moving on, otherwise all anyone will notice is the elephant in the room.”  Tell the thought you will get back to it.  Think through it when the time comes.  Breathe a lot.  Love yourself.

Remember, the right one isn’t “out there” but instead is inside of you.  When you are truly a whole and complete person within, you will stumble into the right romantic situation.  Focus on being the best you.  Be a full and complete person.  Be the best you, you can be and live life.  To quote Field of Dreams: If you build it, they will come.  Even if they don’t, you now know how to be awesome at being single.  And always, Live ClareLesley.

–Clare 

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!

Sex With Friends

I have promised in the past that I would explain how you can “hook up” with a friend and not “ruin” the friendship.
Finally I’m delivering…

First, is it possible to date, make out with, or sleep with a friend and not “ruin” the friendship? Sure! Anything is possible. Do I recommend getting skin close to all your friends? No. But the reality is: you probably will, and I want you armed with the tools to enjoy it before, during, and after.

A few disclaimers:
1) just because you “hook up” with someone, a friend, stranger, or date does not a relationship or commitment make.
2) if you “fall” for every person you flirt, kiss, text or sext (I have opinions on this stay tuned on my sexting blog another day) then diving into your pool of friends is not the best idea. In fact I would tell you absolutely not. You’re not able to handle it.
3) if the lack of communication from someone you sends you to the fridge, bar, or any other binge…you’re not ready (for dating of any kind, and definitely not dating a friend).
4) if you don’t have all the self love we coach/talk about here at Live ClareLesley…you’re not ready.

If you fall into the “not ready” category this doesn’t mean you have to hide in a closet. I don’t want to make a hermit-nun out of you. Quite the opposite, actually. But your focus shouldn’t be on dating anyone, especially your friends. Your focus should be self love, self respect, self growth. When you’re the person you want to be, then go enjoy the fruits of your labor. If that means hooking up with a friend, cool.  You will have our glowing permission. Get yourself to be your WHOLE self first. Then another Whole self will find you. It may even be a friend.

Ok, now that the disclaimers are out of the way lets get dirty, in a friendly way.

Why are friends with benefits a good idea? Think about it! You pick your friends based on things in common. You spend time together, talk about things you like, don’t like, want in life…sounds a lot like dating to me.

There’s nothing awkward about a friendship, no games being played it’s easy-peasy, my dears. So, it makes sense if you and a friend find your way into each others arms. In fact, in most of my coaching on relationships my clients wish they could find a partner they are best friends with. Again, why not dip into the friend pool?…you want your partner to be your friend. Your friendship foundation is already set. Try the dating thing. It might just be the door to a fantastic relationship.

Can you just be friends with benefits? Sure!  Again, anything is possible and it really depends on the two (or more in some cases…my sweet friend, you know who you are) parties involved. Again, you must be able to get past all four disclaimers above and you must truly know and love who you are. The other parties have to also be the same. It won’t work if one of you is a rock star in the self growth category and the other is starving for love, attention, and a partner.

Remember sleeping with a friend does not a partner make. Just because you and your friend cross that clothing barrier bridge, doesn’t mean you are an item. It means you slept with your friend. That actually is worth repeating! Anyone and I mean ANYONE that you kiss, sleep with does NOT a Relationship make. Partners take time. Just like friendships take time. They deserve to take time. Like a fine wine, tea or beer…fermentation is a good thing.

So, How do you start? Well one of you has to make a move, start the conversation. Is the thought of making a move freaking you out? Then, you’re not ready for this. In my past dates with friends, it’s not so black and white. The line from planning, to hang out as friends and going “out” is blurred. In fact, looking back I can’t say at the time I knew we were “crossing the barrier.” It was more like, I hoped we might.

The Comedian: He was more of an acquaintance. We would see each other out with other friends. The two of us were connected via the benefits of twitter and Facebook but we had not exchanged digits. We had lots of things in common. Eventually, he reached out to me personally. He heard I was single and we took our fringe friendship to a direct one. Texts became more frequent a date was planned and a dinner an kiss were enjoyed. There were no fireworks. We had a great time. We have hung out since even. Celebrate the successes we’ve achieved individually. We are closer friends now because we tried to take it to the next level.

Those of you who understand this, are ready for the dating world and even the dating-your-friend-pool world. Just because we didn’t fall madly for each other, does not mean we can’t be friends still. None of those things changed.

The Yogi: I do not recommend you fall for your Yoga, Pilates, Personal Trainer, EVER! If things get weird you will be the one to find a new teacher. They have their classes, their schedule set. In my case as a Pilates Instructor I know many other instructors so me dating a Yogi friend…well I have plenty of them. We had been friends for some time. Our clients and surrounding acquaintances often overlapped. Finding out we both were single at the same time, we set up a time. Again, no definite plans for the long term, but there were hopes. Wishes do come true. We had a great date, awesome convo, and an enjoyable night. We even wanted to go out again. But timing is everything. In the end we went back to being friends. We still are. We both have found wonderful happiness in other relationships. Turns out, now both of us  are dating someone we were friends with before.

My Love: We were introduced by a mutual friend. We had the best time together. We talked for hours. Then because timing is everything. We did nothing. Over the course of the next 4 months we spoke, even hung out once. We got to know each other. Then logistics in our lives made it easier to hang out. So we did every week. We talk about our pasts, past relationships, breakups, desires and dreams. Then we decided to give it a go! Best decision EVER. Dating one of my friends means I always have someone to talk to about ANYTHING. No games. Just love, kindness and respect.

What do each of these scenarios have in common?
1) COMMUNICATION.  In person, or over the phone. The good, old fashioned conversations. Between each other, not other people.
2) NO BIG DEALS.  We didn’t make a big deal about the event, we didn’t get lots of people involved. We just did our thing.
3) WE ARE STILL FRIENDS.  Friendships don’t end because you kiss. They end for other reasons. See “Growing out of Friends

Each of you reading this will have a different experience. I am not going to sit here and tell you go slow, go fast, do this, or don’t do that. Nope. You have to choose your own adventure. I won’t be there every step of the way. All I can tell you is what I have already: you must be your whole self before you date anyone. Especially your friend.

Have a friend crush? AWESOME maybe that’s the love of your life waiting for you to be ready to give it a go.  As someone who has their best friend as their partner, I will give you my blessing.  Every time.

Self Love first, Date second, and always Live ClareLesley

LL

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