One Year No Beer Podcast Episode 091 – Total Transformation with Channa Bromley
Everyone wants to find a partner with whom they can share a lasting, rewarding relationship. For those who haven’t already found that person, or who have had difficulty maintaining a relationship, or even those who have difficulty loving themselves as much as they deserve, today’s guest has valuable insight.
Channa has over 15 years of experience as an international, award-winning, matchmaker, love coach, and holistic practitioner. She specializes in total transformation – from loving yourself to falling in love to maintaining a fulfilling relationship. Channa has helped thousands of men and women make this transformation and guided them every step of the way.
“Setting boundaries is not being mean. Setting boundaries is being direct with grace and kindness.”
Throughout her professional experience as a Matchmaker and love coach, she has learned the science of what makes and breaks relationships and witnessed the emotional component behind the science first- hand. Channa’s extensive experience in dating and relationships make her well-prepared to help you discover or achieve any of your relationship goals.
In today’s interview, Channa shares what put her on this path to begin with. She talks about the lack of examples of loving, healthy relationships when she was growing up, and her own struggles with low self-worth and poor relationship choices. She also shares how she began taking accountability for her life and relationship choices and grew into someone who can help others achieve their own relationship goals.
Channa also shares some helpful tips for meeting people, calming pre-date nerves through meditation, and sober dating. She discusses sober dancing, online dating, and the value of setting boundaries for yourself.
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CHANNA BROMLEY’S LINKS AND RESOURCES
My Love Gurus Matchmaking: http://www.mylovegurus.com/
Jen: Hi guys, this is Jen Fairbairns and welcome to the One Year No Beer Podcast. Our guest today is Channa Bromley, an award-winning international matchmaker, love coach, and holistic practitioner. She specializes in total transformation, from loving yourself to falling in love, to maintaining a fulfilling relationship. Channa has helped thousands of men and women make this transformation. She's guided them every step of the way.
Her expertise has been featured in Oprah Magazine and Cosmopolitan, among other outlets and now we are lucky to have her here with us on the OYNB Podcasts. Ahead of this interview, we asked our OYNB audiences for any questions they might have around sober dating or dating in general. Buckle up, folks. Today, love is on the menu. Ladies and gentlemen, Channa Bromley. Hi, Channa.
Channa: Hey, how are you?
Jen: I'm very good. I love the colorful background you got. It’s making me very teary right now. Thanks again for coming on to the podcast. I was very, very lucky to meet you in person in Tahoe a couple of months ago. I've met you in person and when I met you, I was like, this girl needs to come on to our podcast first and foremost because you are one of the loveliest people I've ever met, and then the subject that you are a specialist at. You are a specialist in the subject of love, something we all crave, we all need, we all want, and it doesn't always come that easy, does it? That's why you're here to talk about it.
Channa: I’d be out of a job if it did.
Jen: How do you become a specialist? And not just a specialist but so good at it because you are very good at your job. How does that come about? Tell me a little bit about how it started.
Channa: I didn't grow up in the best environment and I actually never saw what a good relationship looks like myself. Having low self-worth and fully believing I was completely unlovable. I made really bad choices and who I surrounded myself with. I chose toxic relationships, abusive relationships, and I just got to the point where I realized this has to stop.
I have to take accountability for what I'm attracting into my life, so I just started learning absolutely everything I could about the brain, about interpersonal relationships, about just limiting beliefs, why choose who you do, how you show up, so sabotaging behaviors, and just put all of my focus on to that.
I got fortunate that some amazing mentors took me under their wing and for 15 years now, I've been working with the best of the best in the industry, in international and global matchmaking companies, and dating coaching companies.
Every day is a learning experience. Everyone has their own unique, complex situation. Every day keeps me on my toes where I'm constantly growing and evolving, as well. I'm grateful for my clients for that expansion every day as well.
Jen: What an incredible thing, though. You do it all over the world. Where are you based first of all? Tell our listener where you are and do you work from home? Would you travel a lot with this?
Channa: Right now, my physical self, I'm in Nova Scotia. My national agency is based out of British Columbia on the other side of the country, the contract to a start the texts are. My English is all messed up today. That space out of San Francisco but we're global as well. Today alone, I probably talked to people in over 20 different countries, which is wonderful.
I travel a lot but not necessarily for work. I travel a lot because I do work 100% remotely, so I can do what I do anywhere and it's just a good life experience to be out. It was my goal.
Jen: That is lovely. Just to jump straight to it in the environment that we live in, right now we are in the middle of a self-isolating world. It becomes very difficult for people, especially single people or people who may have just got into a relationship. It must be tricky. Have you encountered any questions regarding this?
Channa: Lots of questions regarding it. It's actually really interesting. Any industry right now, we really didn't know what to expect. When we first went into isolation, we experienced a bit of a lull. People weren't investing in finding love because they felt that connections won't be able to last. They'll fizzle out if they're not able to meet in person.
In the last two weeks, we've actually seen the greatest surge in online dating that we've ever seen. We've now coined it as the new cuffing season. There are pros and constantly. People are actually having more meaningful conversations. They're getting to really get to know each other more than what they were previously, we're seeing an increase of actual successful matches coming out of this.
The tricky part, though, is in order for relationships to thrive, you need to be engaging in novel experiences together. You got to have that light, that fun, that playfulness, and that takes a lot of creativity right now in virtual dating. Thankfully, long-distance relationships have paved the way for this global pandemic and how to date within it.
This is the disorganized part about online dating, too. There are so many different intentions. For the people that are not on there as a suppression strategy or distraction, the ones that are actually on there looking for a true connection, if they can put the effort into being creative with their dating and their date ideas right now, then these relationships can thrive into something really beautiful once we're able to be in the same physical space again.
Jen: What you said physical attraction is a big part of a connection between two people. You’re actually seeing someone and then you feel something, but getting to know someone inside, that must be the kicker because that's what really counts because you can meet someone and physically feel really attracted, but then there’s just no depth. That could take weeks and months for you to discover.
Let's say a lot of people might be later on in life and not willing to waste any time, if that makes sense. When they get to interact with some this must be a huge bonus. Maybe then when they meet each other and see that the interaction wasn't there physically, that's a different story, but the fact that you get to know and get to go through that process, a lot quicker must be a huge bonus in a way.
Channa: Definitely. The timing’s interesting, too. In North America—I'm not sure if it is where you are—Netflix released a show. I think it was called Love is Blind.
Jen: I watch that. […] I’m one of those. I’m not afraid to say yes, I watched that. It's a bit creepy. We’ve been sitting on the show for a while. I'm just wondering but exactly that.
Channa: Exactly. Not even see each other. There was just a call. But what we have right now is we live in a digital era. Here we are, you and I on opposite sides of the globe right now talking. I can see you just as clearly as if you were in front of me. We have attraction. We can have physical attraction online.
It's a little bit different when you meet in person. When I'm setting up matchmaking dates, our whole model previously was built around, not giving people phone numbers or too much information, not having them engaged in conversation prior to meeting in person because we wanted them to see if that chemistry was there in person and not prejudging one another.
As humans, we have to be adaptable as well, so we're changing the structure of how things work. There might be times where when they meet in person, they're going to be like, oh, you're not quite what I thought you were going to be like. It's nothing with organic relationships anyway. People always say, oh, it didn't work out because they changed.
People don't change. They're just being themselves. The more authentic you are with virtual dating, the more likely you're going to have success when it comes to finally meeting in person as well.
Jen: The question that I have that I've been a bit curious about you just said, after time, they realize, no, that person changed. That's not really true. Could it be that your expectations of wanting that person made you maybe put up with certain behaviors or certain patterns, hoping that person would change, and then they never do, and then they’re like, well, they changed. Stop expecting people to be someone that suits you.
Channa: A little bit of both. I think naturally, we all tweak our behaviors a little bit because we want to be accepted. We all fear rejection, we feel hurt. Fear of abandonment is a primal fear that everybody has on some level because it's essential. It's an essential need to be connected. Therefore, it's natural that we would fear disconnection but it's how we handle that.
We're always tweaking our behavior a little bit trying to get that acceptance. As we get more comfortable, though, your true nature comes out. That being said, it's our responsibility always to communicate what your needs, wants, and requirements are in a relationship. You can't expect and assume somebody is just going to be able to meet them and hope that they're going to change and be able to meet them. We just end up with an expectation hangover.
Don't look at people expecting them to change. Set your boundaries, express what your needs are, allow them the space to step up and meet them. If not, accept the fact that it's not in alignment and release the connection. Otherwise, you're just prolonging the inevitable.
Jen: That's all good food for thought for anyone out there single and looking for a partner. There are so many things to think about, especially now. It's interesting to have this podcast with you now because of the times we live in. I'm sure for the foreseeable future this will be the situation and we'll be integrating more into getting out there. Going out on dates is probably not the first thing people think about but it'll be interesting to see.
We came well-prepared for this episode and we spoke to our audience who are very excited about this podcast. I asked them to give me some questions specifically because a lot of our members go into an alcohol-free life. They worry about being pushed out from the social gatherings and feeling like they’re the odd one out, et cetera, and love is something that we often see posts within our private groups with our members, asking recommendations and stuff.
When I posted this and said, hey, does anyone have any questions? My goodness, I had to cut it down to one. There were so many questions for you, really, but I think I found some good ones. Are you okay with this? I just jumped into this?
Channa: Why not? Yeah, let's go.
Jen: And afterward, if you have anything to add or anything that you find useful that you want to share on the love side and just not love. You do so much more than you love for yourself, not just for others. If you have anything that you feel like input towards this subject for our members, just jump in and fire away.
Here we go. One person asked, “Firstly, if someone has gone alcohol-free, would you advise them to hold off from dating for awhile?”
Channa: They need to be comfortable with themselves before they begin dating. It's really about their acceptance of where they are in the process of being alcohol-free. It's also why you are going alcohol-free, too. I think it'd be different than if you're in a 12-Step group and it's coming from a place of alcoholism. I believe they say don't date for a year anyway because it can be triggering.
If you're in another experience that would be entirely up to you, you need to make sure you're coming from a place of fullness and that you feel good about your lifestyle and where you’re at before you begin dating anyone. Even if you just switch jobs, the same thing. Make sure you're coming from a place where you feel really good about yourself and you feel really settled in your life before bringing anybody else into it.
Jen: That's good advice there. Taking their time, it needs to feel right and just feel for it, rather than think for it.
Channa: Yeah, and make sure it's not a suppression strategy, either. Don't try to fill the void of alcohol by distracting yourself with the relationship either. Again, you're showing up from a place of fullness. You're good and anything else you bring in is icing on the cake.
Jen: It's good. That is good, sound advice. Now, how would you suggest someone manage their pre-date nerves if they normally rely on a drink to steady them? What tips can you offer to help prepare for a first sober date?
Channa: There's actually a series that I love. It's called MediDating. It's by Gabrielle Bernstein, and it's an hour of meditation all about pumping yourself up for a first date. Another thing you want to do is just preparation. Decide what are three things that you want somebody to know about you. Just come up with three things that you want someone to know about you. Also, this is going to give you a little bit more confidence in yourself, and then do something that you really like to do right before you do it. For me whenever I'm doing something that makes me nervous, like a public speaking event, for example, I'll dance. I'll put some music on and I'll dance.
It's my energy, my vibration up at a high level, and I'm showing up as my best self. Do what it is that lights you up, that turns you on before you go on a first date. Ask yourself what you want someone to know about you because that's where you're […] to you, what your great qualities are as well. It will give you more confidence when you go out. You can try the MediDating if you're feeling really good.
Jen: MediDating, I’ll […]. I love that.
Channa: Yeah, it's really a great album.
Jen: That will be very useful because there are a lot of people who have asked this question.
Channa: Also, having a drink before you go on a date interferes with your judgment.
Jen: Absolutely, 100%.
Channa: Yeah, or looking at making smart decisions. Just remind yourself that as well. The most important decisions that we make in our life is going to be our education, our career, but who we share all of that with, so make that decision from a very clear space.
Jen: That makes so much sense. We often talk to our members about sober dancing, because also another thing that people worry about is dancing sober. Sober dancing is awesome and what you need to do is maybe prepare at home, put music on, and just dance like no one's watching and stuff. You just need to let it loose because music can be very therapeutic as well. Just dance with the music, don't think about the way you look. Think about the way you feel. That's a good tip for sober. See, everyone? We talk about sober dancing and now this is also recommended here.
Channa: I'm sure everyone's seen somebody who's been out dancing, who had a couple of too many drinks and you could see the look on their face and they thought they looked like Beyonce, but in actuality, not so much. Even if you think you're not a great sober dancer, you're probably better if you were with too many drinks.
Jen: It could be a lot worse.
Channa: It could be.
Jen: I love that. That’s brilliant. The next one for an online date is putting together a profile that isn't off-putting is often an issue, especially mentioning being alcohol-free. What's your advice for writing an honest yet inviting profile of yourself?
Channa: You should be upfront and there are ways to do this that are subtle as well. On most online apps and websites, there's a lifestyle section and you simply can click or not click, do you drink alcohol. Simply don't click that you drink alcohol and if somebody asks you about it, be upfront because this is going to show you right away if they're in alignment with you or not. If they have a problem with you not drinking, they're not your person. This is going to let you know sooner than later. Also, it allows the opportunity to have some much more highly effective dates as well.
I wrote an article a while ago about worse date ideas and going for a drink is one of the worst date ideas. (a) Your judgment is foggy. (b) You're sitting across from each other in this awkward interview setting, like how many brothers do you have? What about you?
If you're not engaging like the best dates to ever go on are activity dates, because you are experiencing, engaging, doing things together, this is where bonding and connection is cultivated. By saying actually I don't drink, this creates an opportunity to actually make some really creative activity dates.
Jen: I like that. As you say, it affects your judgment, but you also see people who drink. They could be perfectly nice, lovely people. The moment they have a drink they say stuff, can be a bit arrogant. That's actually quite off-putting. In a way, it's good to see that that's the person's color when they drink.
People who are maybe a little bit more socially awkward already as well on top of the alcohol-free and then they have an alcohol beverage into it just to go, this supposedly should loosen me up, and it can turn them into a disaster. One date becomes one disaster date and never again, to something that could maybe have been something. Gone for the awkward persona and some people find that endearing. Who knows? You never know.
Channa: Well, if you're having a drink to feel more comfortable when you're dating—that's a bandaid—what we want to be looking at is what is the limiting belief, what's really underneath that? Are you feeling like you're not lovable, that you're not worthy of this person choosing you, that you're not good enough? These are the things that we need to be addressing.
If you just feel socially awkward, then we can be practicing some mock dates and prepare you for these dates, but putting a bandaid on anything is never the solution. By also expressing to people right away to like I don't drink, you're setting a boundary. Boundaries are something that's really misunderstood. A lot of people are like, oh, I don't want to say that because then they won't like me or they're going to think I'm too direct. It's actually really sexy.
When somebody sets a boundary and they value something about themselves that's like that emoji with the heart eyes. It's super sexy and attractive when somebody values themselves in their choices and their decisions. Don't be afraid to say ‘I don't drink.’
Jen: It's sexy to set boundaries. What are we worried about?
Channa: Some ladies do. It's sexy to set boundaries. It really is, because when you don’t, it lowers your perceived value which lowers your attractiveness. If you don't value your own decisions, then people aren't going to value you as much either, so it's important.
Jen: Another thing going back to what you said that most dating sites have where you can click, whether you drink alcohol or not. I'm not aware of that because I'm not on the dating radar. Maybe a lot of our members are not aware of it because they might not have gone to a dating site or whatever, but just now you guys you've heard it. There is a setting because that will filter out a lot of people that you don't want to waste any time worrying about judgment, because if it's there right away, setting boundaries, now you know. Go for it.
Channa: Also, if people are looking for somebody, like let's say someone has an issue with somebody not drinking. Maybe they've just had an experience where there have been issues with someone saying that in the past and it was a triggering thing for whatever reason. People can also search by that as well, so if they're not okay with you not drinking, that you wouldn't even show up on your choices either. It really is a screening process. You're putting it out. It's subtle. If someone really has an issue with it, then you're not going to match with them anyway.
Jen: That's a very good point. For anyone who's looking for love offline, have you got any suggestions or places for like-minded people? Are there any clubs, groups, or events that you know that does specifically non-drinking fun stuff? I think there's a lot of stigma around non-drinking. All non-drinkers are boring. That's not true at all. There's a lot of fun. I know in the UK (at least) that there are more and more of these non-alcoholic pubs or places that don't serve alcohol. Do you know any more? I think about the UK but we have members all over the world. We are international.
Channa: There are a lot of pubs in some cities. New York City has some. Montreal has one that just opened up about a year ago. You said like-minded. Like-minded doesn't mean it has to be surrounded around not drinking alcohol. Why don't we look for groups that involve hiking, adventures, art, or taking a cooking class of any sort? It doesn't have to be rolling around the topic of just not drinking.
List out all of the activities that you are interested in, all of those things that we have on the back burner that we say someday, I'm going to get time. I'm going to go do this. List them down and start doing those things. You don't know that everybody there isn't going to drink, but again you're going to be upfront about the fact that you don't. Instead of just limiting it to having this one thing in common, expand and look at all the other facets of yourself and all your other interests that you could be finding somebody in alignment with those.
Jen: That's very interesting because I think that this ties in a little bit with fear that our members have. They feel like well, I don't drink now so I just need to surround myself. They're fearful of judgment, I guess. They feel like where would I look for other people that are doing this? You don't have to. If you go somewhere and do something awesome, you might meet some brilliant person that has been one drink twice a year or one drink twice a month. Who cares? They are a perfectly awesome human being that you could go to. This is an awesome person. You wouldn't ever have thought of it because you limit your options, I guess.
Channa: Yeah. Why are we assuming that just because you don't drink that everyone else is going to have a problem with that? You have to also look at your boundaries. Are you okay with you not drinking but your partner socially drinking or do you really want somebody who's on the same path as well and doesn't drink? It's okay. They have to respect each other's differences as well. They don't have to be exactly the same in every regard.
Ask yourself what your boundaries are, too. If you're okay with dating somebody who has the occasional drink and your life choices that you don't want to, why are we going to assume that they're not going to accept you? It's not like you are going around spray-painting people's houses. You're just choosing not to drink. We're projecting a lot of self-judgment and there's a lot more underneath that.
Again, this is really becoming confident in our decisions and really just embracing what our choices are. When we come from it from a place of confidence, let's not assume that people are going to have an issue with this. If they do, it's not your person. But in my experience, it's not that difficult. When I'm taking intake for my matchmaking clients, very, very rarely has somebody ever said to me I won't date somebody who doesn't drink. It's incredibly rare or maybe 1 person out of 500 when I interview them. It's rare. It's really more about who are you willing to accept as your partner versus are they going to be willing to accept me?
Jen: I think that's a good number for people to hear that for our audience because I think people would expect there to be a lot more because of fear surrounding it. So that's great.
Channa: Yeah. It's not as true as what we're building it up to be. I think that that's the end whether it's chirping in your ear because there's just more self-acceptance that we can be healing and working on right there.
Jen: I'm just looking at a fairly long question but I think it's an important one because this is another one that I came up with a couple of times where people are curious. Any thoughts on how to handle a date that's going wrong? We've all had them where everything you were expecting is far from the reality like blind dates or whatever. How do you get out of it easily, for example, if they're drinking a lot or challenging you on being alcohol-free? A good way out would be standing up and walking out, but let's be honest.
Channa: This is about boundaries again. Understand that if you're going to put your boundaries down if something is not going well, it's perfectly acceptable. Setting boundaries is not being mean. Setting boundaries is being direct with grace and kindness. So I would simply say thank you for taking the time to meet this evening. I really don't feel that we're in alignment with one another. I'm going to leave now. I wish you the best. You can get up and you can go. You never have to over-explain, to justify, to debate your boundaries. Simply state it with them and leave. It's that.
What is the obstacle here is guilt. You're feeling guilty for leaving. If you're feeling guilty, that actually means you're on the right track. You got a messenger that you're doing the right thing. You've already made a tough decision. Cutting alcohol out of life is something that takes discipline. You've already successfully made a tough decision setting boundaries for yourself. It's just another tough decision that you're going to commit to. It's going to feel really funky at first because society has told us it's selfish to set boundaries but it's actually a lot less to set boundaries. Just like if you're on the airplane and they say put your own oxygen mask on first, otherwise, you're going to pass out and be no good to anybody.
When we don't set boundaries, we cultivate resentment and anger. We project this outwards. It's actually selfish not to express your boundaries because if that person you aren't in alignment, are you actually doing them a favor by staying there for the date? They're probably not having a good time either if you guys are having conflict already about your lifestyle choices. So, do each other a favor and just set your boundaries kindly with grace and leave.
Jen: Kindness, grace, and then you leave. You feel good about yourself. You feel strong. You feel empowered. You weren't rude. You just stood your ground and then you grow from that.
Channa: It’s a self-honoring position. It's just self-honoring. You're not doing them any favors by sitting there enduring something that's not in alignment. Listen to it and then do the favor. Release the guilt. The guilt is the messenger that you're doing the right thing so get out of there.
Jen: The next question is a big one. I think this is another one that a few people want to know. Sober sex can be a scary prospect for some being alcohol-free, who have used alcohol to give them confidence. When things don't progress to the next level, how can they prepare for this the first time? I'm not saying that alcohol would have been a good idea, but that's probably people would have done. When it's coming to that, you can prepare and all that. This is quite a sensitive subject because there’s just a lot of stuff going on.
Channa: Simply put, if you cannot be emotionally naked with somebody, don't be physically naked with somebody. Isn't sex way better when you're emotionally connected? Otherwise, it's mechanical. Be emotionally naked, then get naked. You'll thank me; it's going to be way better.
Jen: I love that. That is such a good thing. I'm going to highlight this with big capitals. This is so good. That is so good. That is an absolute golden rule that you should set for yourself because a lot of people do end up having sex. Let's mention all the people who wake up and go who is that?
Channa: They walk in shame the next day.
Jen: Having that courage and just getting it done if you do need that, then you probably shouldn't be having sex.
Channa: You want to also ask yourself why you are rushing into it anyway. If you're rushing into sex, often what I find it's because you're seeking validation externally or you're seeking connection. But you don't really connect through sex. The connection is more soul-to-soul and heart-to-heart. Be honest about what you're doing and why you're doing it. Sex is better when you have an emotional connection. Adjust your time. Don't rush into anything. I also believe in sex-clusivity as well. I think that when we have sex with somebody, we are forever tangling our energies together.
A question that I tell my clients to ask is, if you wouldn't want to be somebody, don't have sex with that person. Get to know them enough and know would I want to be that, like Being John Malkovich, would I want to be this person? If the answer is yes, then okay, but make sure you're exclusive before having sex as well because it's an entanglement of people's energy. You are making an imprint on one another. We're looking at it energetically as well.
Jen: Taking the step to not drinking, you're essentially taking a huge leap forward towards your own health and to your own well-being. You're going deep. We encourage meditation and all that stuff. Starting that journey of choosing a partner, that's definitely a big part of it. Choosing that mindful connection before getting involved sexually. Sex is amazing when the connection is there so you will know. Would you say for people to trust their feelings, when it feels right, and not overthink things basically?
Jen: Basically like I said, if you can't be emotionally naked, then you shouldn't be physically naked. If you're even at the point where you're feeling like you need a drink to have sex and you're not there yet, you should be at a place where the only thing that you're feeling is this giant “yes” from every level, spiritually, emotionally, and physically until you feel completely sure that that's the right decision and you're really just open, vulnerable, and comfortable. Unless you have that, don't be engaging in sexual activity with people.
Jen: As simple as that. For anyone who's already in a relationship, what advice can you give them about keeping it fresh and functioning, especially if they have gone alcohol-free and their partner hasn't?
Channa: My favorite subject. What we're talking about is desire really here, keeping something fresh. You want to have a desire for one another in a relationship. Desire is a paradox, though. You have to be able to balance separateness with togetherness. This is where people generally mess up. They usually go to one extreme or the other. Too much separateness, we have disconnection. Too much togetherness, we have enmeshment. With enmeshment, there is no individualism. Therefore, there's no tension that's there anymore.
What we want to be looking at is it's just as important as it is for you to have connection rituals which should include without any exception one date night a week. No exceptions. You have to. It's the law of thermodynamics. Every single system will disorganize over time and less energy is consistently put back into the system. The system here is the relationship. The system is also you. You must put energy into the relationship through connection habits.
One date a week, no exception, communicating daily, asking each other really how they're feeling, how their date is going. You got to have those connections. But you also have to put energy back into your own system. You have to remain having your own rich, full life. You have to keep working on your own interest, your own habits, because that's how you keep that “wow” factor in the relationship.
When you're also doing your connection rituals, you must be engaging in novel experiences together. Be creative. People generally get stagnant. This is where we are comfortable. Again, we stop putting energy back into the system. Continue to date. That's why it's so important to have those dates once a week. Get dressed up for each other. Make a nice meal together if you have to stay home. If you have children, you must get a support system in place because you have to be having a date night to keep that spark alive. There are great things you can do even at home like cooking meals together. It's teamwork. You pick out a recipe. You go to the store. You buy the ingredients. You prepare the meal together, even just brushing up against each other in the kitchen. The touch of the skin is producing that oxytocin as well.
Basically, it's the balance between keeping your individualism but also making sure that you are continuously investing energy back into this system by being creative and coming up with new ways, sharing activities together, and making sure you're taking that time to connect. Once a year, you should go on a vacation just the two of you as well. Check-in with each other because we're always evolving.
The only constant in life is change. We need to make sure that you and your partner are still in alignment. Ask what your vision for the next year, for the next five years is. How are you feeling in this relationship? Are your needs being met? Ask the question that you never take the time to ask. Check-in with your partner. That way, every year we're having a revamp. If there's anything that's been slipping, we can address that and build it back up again.
Jen: That is some really sound advice there. The follow-on question there and the last one—that’s it from the group, asking for a friend, obviously—if you're stuck at home with yourself isolating and kids, have a date night, they’re not really happening, is that just laziness? You've fallen out of hand. She just sticks to your routine. Make sure you do date nights regardless if it ends up being a lot later at night, as exciting or adventurous as it would be when you’re not self-isolating. Is it just being firm with that routine?
Channa: You have to be firm with it. Treat it like you will treat any business meeting. Your relationship should be your number one priority. Kids are an extension of your relationship. As I said, three important decisions that we make in our life are education, career, and your partner. Don't compromise on your time with your partner. That should be your number one priority. If you have kids, as I said, get a support system in place.
I met my biological father about eight years ago. I'd never met him before then. The thing that I'm so grateful for in that opportunity was him and his wife had been married for 27 years. Every Friday, no matter what, for 27 years, they have had date night. I have to cover my ears around. He's smacking her butt and she's whispering something that I won't repeat right now. I'm like, “Oh, my God. You guys are so gross.”
They act like they're high school sweethearts and they've been together for 27 years. The thing is 8:00–9:00, every Friday, no matter what. Nothing comes between them on date night. It's the best relationship I've ever seen. It's something I stand behind fully, aside from the science and the research, but actually seeing that relationship and how that keeps that spark there. Do not compromise some time with your partner. You chose them for a reason.
We often forget that we don't own our partner. We don't have ownership over them and we often think we do. We forget that they are an individual. It's a choice for them to be with you and it's a choice for you to be with them. Don't take the connection for granted. Other people could choose them too and vice versa. Honor that choice that you made. Honor that connection by prioritizing him.
Jen: That's awesome. Amazing, Channa. Thank you so much.
Channa: Thank you.
Jen: Excellent insight to sober dating and sober love, but also to just love in general and love to oneself. One thing that I would really take away from this, one word that stuck with me but I've been aware of, I'm so bad at it, but I'm going to get better at it, is boundaries. Obviously, not love. This comes with any relationship, work relationship, friendships.
Channa: Everything. Peace offering, too.
Jen: Just yourself.
Channa: We bulldoze ourselves all day long. We say yes when we really want to say no to things. We bulldoze ourselves more than anyone else bulldoze us in. Boundary is everything.
Jen: Boundary is everything. Guys, if you got it and want to check Channa out, her website is www.channabromley.com.
Channa: I just changed it over. It's mylovegurus.com.
Jen: I love it, mylovegurus.com. I like that. Anything else? Any other Instagram or any Facebook that I've missed? Handles that I’ve missed?
Channa: No. Everything is at My Love Gurus. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, it's all at My Love Gurus.
Jen: They can look you up. Anything else you got coming up that you would like to promote or share? Do you do retreats? Obviously, right now we're in a world war together with COVID. But for people who are interested, they can look you up because you do stuff like that as well.
Channa: Yeah. I do high-end retreats for women right now. We will be doing some men's ones in the future. If you are looking for love, you're welcome to join my free database as well. We can get you set up there and see if any connections come out as well. You can simply just go to mylovegurus.com. You'll see two tabs, Men Apply Here and Women Apply Here.
Jen: I'm just putting this up. I will listen through this later again but I'll just write down. Guys, check her out at mylovegurus.com. A lot of people are re-evaluating things right now and finding that partner would quite hit that sweet spot. Check Channa’s website out, guys. Thank you so much, Channa. You're amazing.
Channa: Thank you.
Jen: Thank you for being an inspiration and for answering all the questions we have. We'd love to do a follow-up with you eventually because I know when we release this they're going to be like what? I didn't get to ask my question. I have so many questions. So I'd love to revisit.
Channa: Absolutely. I can talk about love all day long.
Jen: Thank you so much, Channa. I really appreciate that. Guys, we thank you for listening to this episode. That's it for now, guys. Next time.