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Relationships
fall 2021

How to Find Love and Keep It

Life Coach Angela N. Holton’s Guide to Dating, Relating and Communicating
Written by: WayMaker Journal Team

WayMaker Journal speaks with spiritual life coach and dating expert Angela N. Holton about finding love, balancing home and work life, and what women wish men understood about them.

WJ: WHAT LED YOU TO BECOME A DATING AND RELATIONSHIP COACH?
AH:
I never thought in a million years that I’d be a dating and relationship coach or be referred to as an expert on relationships. Relationships was a topic I eschewed many times with clients in the past. I felt imposter syndrome, since I hadn’t figured out this aspect of my life. However, it came very clearly to me during a conversation with God two years ago. The message was quite succinct: “This is the work you’re going to support women through.”


I myself was a woman who lamented for many years over not having a husband and family. So, I know all too well the pain, loneliness, anguish and despair that comes from wanting something so badly that it creates internal suffering. Where you become fixated on this one thing “completing” the perfect picture of your life—believing you can’t find true happiness or inner-fulfillment without it.


I didn’t know then that I had unconsciously ascribed to old programming and conditioning that created a false belief that I wasn’t fully enough until I had a partner and a child of my own to call me “mom.” The final piece to my happiness was predicated on external factors. I believed marriage was a rite of passage afforded to everyone.


So, I turned my biggest challenge into my miracle. My pain into my purpose. I was already on a beautiful and profound self-love journey and was coaching women successfully on this journey, that coaching them on “dating, love and relationships” seemed a natural byproduct to the work I was already doing.


WJ: WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES TO DEAL WITH IN MODERN DATING?
AH: Firstly, dating tactics don’t work. They might get you the first date and a call back, but they don’t teach you how to actually be in relationship or how to sustain one. Tactics are another “quick fix” solution offering us temporary satisfaction.


There’s lots of dating among people who don’t know who they are nor what they need and desire in relationship. We can’t identify our ideal partners if we don’t know our own values, needs and standards.


We’ve also forgotten how to connect with one another; our attention spans are about two seconds long. We’re so easily distracted and attached to technology—making genuine connection very challenging.


Traditional values in dating and courtship seem to have fallen by the wayside as well. Men often don’t know how to be men in relationships and women have forgotten how to be women. This isn’t sexism. This is about understanding the natural and biological tendencies of women and men in relationships. We could benefit by going back to the basics and treating others like we’d like to be treated—honoring values of kindness, respect and consideration.


Healing from our past relationships and old wounds would serve the dating community greatly, rather than our jumping from one relationship to the next, where we bring our old baggage and projections onto our partners. Until we invest in our own inner healing and the relationship we have with ourselves, we’ll remain on the hamster wheel of dating and perpetually create the same outcomes.

We can’t identify our ideal partners if we don’t know our own values, needs and standards.


WJ: WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE SOME OF THE PARTICULAR CHALLENGES OF DATING FOR BUSY, ENTREPRENEURIAL WOMEN?
AH:
Today’s woman is often not employing intentionality or strategy in her dating and love life. She’s successful at using strategy in other areas of her life but when it comes to love, she leaves it to chance, a prayer and a miracle.


We need strategy: We might ask ourselves, “How can I increase my chances of meeting someone? They’re likely not going to show up at my front door.” What can we try that we haven’t tried before? Maybe a matchmaker, speed-dating, singles events, a dating coach or therapist to help us see our relationship patterns, or online dating.
I realize no one loves online dating, but it’s the quickest and easiest way to exponentially increase our dating pool and help us practice relationship tools. Online dating can be very frustrating. However, a lot of our frustration with dating apps occurs because of our attachment to the outcome. We want each date to be the “one.” That’s a whole lot of pressure for “just coffee.”


It behooves us to approach dating with more lightness, curiosity, self-discovery and the desire to have more fun and pleasurable encounters. Shifting our mindset around dating is often the key to attracting what we desire. If we’re dating begrudgingly, imagine the kind of energy we’re bringing on our dates.


WJ: WHAT ABOUT THE WOMAN WHO IS ALREADY COUPLED? HOW CAN SHE IMPROVE HER RELATIONSHIP AND BALANCE IT WITH THE BUSYNESS OF HER LIFE?
AH:
The secret to success in anything is in finding balance. Women are very busy today, running businesses, their families… Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs. But in running our businesses and our lives, we can become depleted, burnt-out and exhausted.


Whether single or coupled, women can learn to balance their predominant and natural feminine tendencies with their masculine tendencies. Busy women, acting as CEO of their lives and businesses, are functioning very highly throughout the day in their masculine tendencies—decision-making, problem-solving, leadership.


When she returns home to her mate, she’s often still anchored in her masculine side, which, if her partner has predominant masculine energies as well, will cause them to clash and she will find herself feeling more drained and resentful because she doesn’t feel supported or know how to return to her feminine side.


What a busy woman can do before she interacts with her partner is to draw into her feminine tendencies—changing from work/business clothes into something that makes her feel feminine and relaxed at home. She can give herself permission to shelve her leadership position until next day’s work and allow herself to be led by someone else, such as in a dance or yoga class. Anything where she’s being led and supported. Receiving and asking for help from her partner helps her return to her feminine side.


WJ: WHAT ARE A FEW THINGS THAT WOMEN WANT MEN TO MOST UNDERSTAND ABOUT THEM?
AH:
That while she can do most things by herself, she doesn’t want to. She needs support, not direction—a lending hand. A man that cares and has her back. Women need to feel safety, trust and support from a man, before they can fully open up and be vulnerable. A compassionate and thoughtful leader—whose decisions will have both their best interests.


Women want men to know that they’re not mind-readers. They don’t always know how to understand their emotions, moods, thought processes, etc., and need some direction from them in understanding their needs.


A woman isn’t always looking for solutions from a man. In fact, most times she’s not. She just wants to talk and share her experiences. A woman has the capacity to generally come to her own solutions and conclusions. By simply listening to her, a man can provide her with the emotional support and comfort she needs. A gentle hand on the small of her back or pulling her in for a long hug is often all she needs.


MY WAYMAKERS: ANGELA HOLTON
My 98-year-old grandmother, “Nana,” has been one of the most monumental waymakers in my life. Her motto, which I heard my entire young and adult life is, “Find a way or make one.” Also, my late canine companion, Kobi, was my greatest waymaker, as he showed me unconditional love and the way to my life’s work and passion.

For more information about Angela N. Holton, go to www.lovesanctuary.com.