Interview With Leslie Rouder: Sharing Her Thoughts on Why Slow is Better, Communicating Deal Breakers + Boundaries and Much More
1. One question we get asked quite often from our subscribers especially from women in their late 30s and above is if there are enough eligible men looking for a serious long term relationship. There seems to be this belief that men around their age group are more interested in younger women.
What advice do you have for women who have a deep rooted skepticism that they can’t find love because of their age and are almost at the point of giving up?
Although I would agree that it is more difficult to find a partner as one gets older, there is certainly no age limit to falling in love.
Age is also relative. For example, I have a friend who is in her 40’s, who enjoys dating older men, who are over 50. She is considered a “younger woman” to these 50 plus men.
In addition, there are many younger men, who enjoy dating older women.
So, there are many variations around dating at various ages these days. I think the important thing is to develop one’s personal and career life as a woman and enjoy a variety of interests, friends, and activities.
Find and explore one’s creativity and talents and learn to find a long term loving relationship with oneself. There is nothing more attractive than a confident, happy, talented and competent woman at any age.
2. Some of our subscribers feel stuck in their love lives because of their past emotional baggage. This affects them in a number of ways- they either tend to compare the next man they are dating with their ex or they have trust issues because they have been cheated on before or they just cannot seem to forget their ex and move on in life.
What are some practical ways that can help women release their past emotional baggage so that they can start attracting healthy love into their lives?
When someone has difficulty letting go of someone who is no longer a part of their life I would ask why they are not with this individual at this time.
If the relationship was “all that”, why did it end? Usually, there was some major flaws that eventually created its demise.
Every loss, regardless deserves our attention and time to mourn, however, if an individual gets stuck somewhere in the past, and is unable to move on and learn to trust again, there is usually some deep seated distorted belief that is holding them back from letting go or there is an aspect of their mind that is experiencing a “faulty data read”.
I would advise someone to seek out professional counseling with a trained hypnotherapist who can address that aspect of the emotional mind that is keeping them stuck in the past.
3. One popular concern that our subscribers have is regarding sharing their feelings with the man they are dating. What we typically find is that when women like the man they are seeing, they tend to avoid bringing up difficult issues and tough conversations because they fear they might lose him. So what they generally tend to do is that they keep it to themselves and give the impression that things are just fine.
For example, they have a fantastic date with a man and he says he will call after a few days. They wait, wait and wait to be disappointed that he didn’t follow up as he said he would. But they are happy when they eventually hear back from him and don’t share how they really felt during the no contact period.
What would your advice be for women who have the fear that sharing feelings and emotions will drive a man away and make them come across as someone clingy and needy?
Just as some women may be feeling vulnerable and needy, so do many men.
Without really knowing someone, we can all jump to conclusions and project a lot of “stuff” onto another person that may or may not be there. Some men may not want to appear too desperate and needy by calling too soon and may wait, so as not to appear this way. Others may just be unreliable.
My feeling is to take your time to get to know someone and see if they are consistent with keeping their word.
I would give people an opportunity to demonstrate that they are reliable over a reasonable period of time. However, if after several dates, there seems to be inconsistencies with what they say in relation to what they do, then I would identify those inconsistencies and share how I felt when those behaviors presented themselves to me. I would also make a reasonable request around these concerns.
There is nothing clingy or needy about identifying behaviors that are not consistent with feeling cared for.
What comes across as needy or clingy is when you identify those behaviors are hurtful and continue to accept them, rather than letting the relationship go.
4. From our subscribers, we often hear “lack of chemistry” as a leading reason why they aren’t willing to go out on a second date with a man even though he seemed to be a decent guy and they were comfortable and treated with respect during the first date.
Can you share your thoughts on chemistry- how important is it for a relationship to succeed long term and can chemistry grow over time? Is it worth persisting with a man with whom a woman feels comfortable but doesn’t quite share the chemistry?
I think this depends on how important chemistry it is to a woman.
I believe that most men will NOT ask a women out on a date simply because she has a nice personality. He most always must feel attracted.
If a woman has that same need in order to pursue a relationship, then I believe she should honor it.
That having been said, I know of several very happy couples in which the woman was NOT attracted at all at first and over time became attracted in a different way than she normally would. It can and does work for some.
5. Some experts recommend women wait till they get to know the man they are dating and not have sex until you both are committed to exclusivity. Some experts believe you should go with the flow and be spontaneous and not have any rules regarding when you want to sleep with a man.
Can you share your thoughts on the right time to have sex especially if the woman is interested in pursuing a long term committed relationship?
I think a woman should have sex whenever she wants to, so long as it does not violate her code of ethics or personal value system.
Most men would not hesitate to have sex with a woman on the first date. Therefore, those men who judge a woman’s value as a life partner based on when she chooses to participate in a consensual sexual encounter is a hypocrite and not worth considering having a long term relationship with, since this kind of an individual does not see woman as their equal.
I think it is far more important that a woman evaluate whether a man is worth pursuing in a long term relationship than trying to figure out what will impress him in this regard. This seems like a far more empowering position to take.
6. Some of our subscribers have the tendency to ignore and overlook the red flags especially when they really like a man. In the process, they create an idealized version of the man and overestimate the feelings he has for them.
For women who have a history of fantasizing and idealizing a partner, what can they do to evaluate the man and their relationship for what it is truly worth rather than what they ideally like it to be?
I think both men and women project onto the other person their idealized partner, which is why I always tell my clients about the wonders of drinking the “love potion”.
It all takes time to shake it off and time is the only antidote. Therefore, if one is really wanting to evaluate the man and their relationship, they must take the time to see this individual in many different circumstances over a significant amount of time.
After the first year, most people begin to really see the forest for the trees and can better evaluate who they have “fallen in love with”.
Slow is better.
Love potion or not, women should ALWAYS pay attention to how they are feeling in the relationship and honor their inner knowing.
7. Can too much honesty negatively affect a relationship especially when you have just started seeing the other person?
There is never too much honesty, however there is sometimes too much information. One has to understand that there is a vast difference between honesty and boundaries.
How much of the past and even the present should you reveal to the man you are dating?
That would depend on how long you have been dating and the motivation in revealing that information.
Should you share details like cheating in the previous relationship, the fact you are currently seeing a therapist or you are a recovering alcoholic etc?
Wow, that’s a lot of various circumstances in one sentence. If you are very emotionally intimate and have developed a deep level of friendship and trust you will know when and if to share any kind of information about your life.
Intimacy is about being able to share one’s reality and the ability to be vulnerable is part of any relationship.
However, that having been said, if you are unsure, then I would advise someone to wait and perhaps seek professional counseling.
8. What are some best practices when it comes to clearly communicating your deal breakers and boundaries and when should you be having these conversations? I have heard from quite a number of my women subscribers who initially set the bar low and then find it incredibly difficult to raise the bar in the relationship because their partner has been conditioned to the earlier low standard.
Many women find it quite difficult to have these conversations because they fear coming across as someone too uptight and rigid and worry about driving men away.
It takes time to know if someone is actually a person that you would want as a life partner, however setting your standards and expectations for what you want in a relationship is something that should be consistent throughout the entire dating process.
Never worry about how someone else reacts to your standards, if he is the right one, you can’t mess it up.
If he’s not, move on. At least you didn’t waist a lot of time and energy on the wrong guy.
9. Our subscribers also run into a situation where things are going great and just when they think the relationship has great potential or feel he is the one, the man starts developing cold feet. He pulls away, doesn’t respond to phone calls or text messages and in some cases disappears for a while.
What advice do you have for women who deal with men that suddenly pull away and act inconsistent?
In the words of the great Oprah Winfrey, If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.
Stop making excuses for a man and his behavior.
Allow your intuition (or spirit) to save you from heartache.” In my own words, if someone is too much work, sweat or aggravation, he’s probably not worth it . Let him go!
10. What are your top 3 relationship tips that you would offer women who are single and looking for a long term committed relationship?
The rest will all fall into place.
About Leslie Rouder
Leslie is a holistic psycho therapist, hypnotherapist and author located in South Florida. Her primary focus in her practice is working with women, as well as adults with ADHD. She is also a certified hypnotherapist, NLP and RRT practitioner. Leslie’s strengths lie in her ability to build a strong rapport with her clients, which is critical to the success she achieves with them. Through her work, she is able to help her clients become more self-aware, communicate more effectively, and to quickly change patterns of mental and emotional behavior that negatively impact their lives.
Visit www.leslierouder.com to know more.