THE Question

Whether you are on a first date or you have been married for twenty years, never stop asking yourself, “What do you want?” 

I know it’s not the easiest question to answer all the time but it’s the only one that matters, so start practicing. Do it right now. Close your eyes and ask yourself what you want. It could be anything from what you want to eat to your biggest career dreams to what you want to do with that cute waiter from the other day. Great. Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it? Not so fast, though. The tricky part is when what you want affects or includes another person. Most of us have gotten really good at managing our desire, manipulating it so it looks and sounds good, justifying it, rationalizing it, and figuring out the best way to approach it without making waves.

Desire is vulnerable. No wonder we try to dress it up, change it, ignore it. We fear judgment, we fear rejection, we fear disappointment. Sometimes the risk just doesn’t seem worth it.

The good news and the bad news is that what you want never goes away. 

You might change the way you feel about it, it may get overshadowed by another desire, or you might ignore it, but the raw desire at the instant it first hit you, never goes anywhere.

Ever been on a first date and not revealed what you actually want because you’re afraid you’ll seem strange, pushy, needy, bossy? You barely know this person, and you’re sure as hell not going to tell them how you’re dying to have really amazing sex or you’d rather be watching Mad Men than having this safe *yawn* first date conversation.

It’s the same story when you’re in a relationship. How often do you not *gulp* say what you want because you’re afraid the other person will flip out? Or thought, if you really love this person, why would you tell them about wanting a completely new kind of sex life or how you’d rather spend the weekend alone than with their parents? Exposing what you want is scary. We’ve been shut down and disappointed in the past so we’ve learned to hide our desire to keep things comfortable and keep ourselves likable.

I’m not saying that you have to go after every single thing that you want like a crazed animal. I’m not even saying that you have to reveal your desires to everyone. I am saying that your desires are yours and they’re valuable so treat them well, acknowledge them, listen to them as much as you can. What you want in one moment will inform you about who you are in the next and slowly but surely you will build the muscle of knowing what you want, then working to have what you want, then having what you want. Your desires will grow. You will inspire and surprise yourself. You’ll go on dates and you won’t have to pretend or you’ll be in a relationship and won’t have to lie. You’ll know who you are and you’ll know where you want to go.

The first step to working with your desire is to figure out what you actually want. 

You don’t have to do anything about your desires right away so don’t worry about what they are, how you could possibly have them, or what other people will think about them. Just start listening to yourself. Ask yourself what you want as much as possible. Put a reminder in your phone, write yourself a post it, tell a friend to text you “what do you want?” every day for a week. Want to share them with someone? Email them to me unedited.

Desire is not the easiest thing to navigate. There are consequences, reactions, and risks. But when all is said and done and you are looking back on your life, you will not like yourself if you didn’t listen to your desire. You can start small and start slow, but no matter what, start.

Single Ladies Want 2 Things

When I talk to my single female clients about what they really really want, it usually boils down to 2 things.

First, we talk about how she wants the power, drive, confidence, and inspiration to attack her daily to-do’s alongside accomplishing her moneymaking and purpose-filled dreams, the dreams she’s been working towards all her life. She wants to wake up happy and ready to go. She wants to change the world and make money. She wants to create and make a difference. Great!

Then, I ask her, “What else do you want?” She gets quiet, a bit shy, and then our eyes meet and I know what she’s going to say. She wants a man. She wants someone to celebrate all these future accomplishments with. She wants someone to cuddle with. She wants someone to take to her new meditation class as well as thanksgiving dinner.  And she doesn’t want any man, she wants a great man. She describes him in detail. Our eyes meet again, we smile, we breathe a little easier. She wants it all and now she’s admitted it.

You are allowed to want it all but you have to be willing to do the work to get it.

So, if these women are turned-on and clear about what they want, what’s stopping them from having the relationship they want? A woman like this usually fears 2 scenarios:

  1. She meets a man who is just alright and invests a bunch of time in a relationship that doesn’t work out. Not only is she alone again but she’s wasted precious time she could have been spending on herself.
  2. She meets an amazing man and is swept up in love la la land while slowly forgetting about her aspirations until she realizes a few years down the road that she’s completely settled for mediocrity.

These women fear wasting time. They fear settling. They fear losing their independence. But they also fear…I’m just going to say it…dying alone. Essentially, they are on a fear seesaw ride that makes them caaarrrrazzzzzy. Plus that f-ing clock is ticking! That’s why they come to me. They don’t want to waste any more time.

Let the work begin! So how in the heck do you get off the seesaw and start walking toward having it all?

  1. Read this statement out loud to yourself: You can have your independence and be in an amazing relationship. Now, write down all your reasons/excuses/fears/beliefs for why this might not be true or might not apply to you. (This works for you ladies already in a relationship too!) Be honest. Don’t edit yourself.
  2. Read your list out loud (or email it to me). What do you notice?

This is where you start. Once you know the convincing excuses and old beliefs that are stopping you, the fireworks will be right around the corner.

So today, celebrate your independence as well as everything else you want. Write your own declaration. Light a sparkler and wave it around. Don’t settle for anything less.


Lindsay Chats with ABC News on Flirting