This week we had our very own Vicki Pavitt in the hot seat telling her own Real Love Story. One thing you might not know about Vicki is that she finds telling her own story nerve wracking, so this is a real act of vulnerability for Vicki and I am so grateful for her courage because this interview offered sooo much in the way of inspiration and deep conversation about love, relationships and how to navigate doubts and fears at the start of relationships and how to help your relationship to flourish over the years.
Today we’re celebrating the 3rd birthday of Get Ready for Love - our 30 lesson online course that helps women to transform their love lives from the inside out.
It truly has been such a powerful course - in the three years since we launched it, 600+ women have been through the course, discovering the power of self-love and how to open up to invite love into their lives - we’ve already had a number of weddings and even babies amongst our Get Ready for Love community and we have received some wonderful features in the press with a fresh new one coming out in Red magazine in just a couple of weeks!
But what has been the most powerful of all has been to see so many women discover the power of self-love. They come alive with it and we get to witness it every day in the Love Zone - the incredible online community that has grown up around the Get Ready for Love course.
So we decided to dedicate this next Project Love podcast episode to the power and importance of self love when it comes to both finding love and making love last.
And we invited members of the Love Zone to share their stories and lessons on love with us so that we could share them with you, both in this podcast episode and on a brand new gallery we now have here where you can read stories and lessons on love shared by women who have been through the Get Ready for Love course. They are so moving!
So press play on this latest episode below or over on Apple podcast or Spotify and feed up on the love!
X Vicki & Selina
So excited for you to listen to this week’s real love story interview with the fabulous Natasha Lunn. Tune in as Natasha talks to Vicki about dating apps and 12 hour first dates, speaking your truth, wholeheartedness and choosing to go ‘all in’ on love (starting with going ‘all in’ with dating). And much much more!
This podcast is packed full of wisdom as Natasha shares her love story with Dan and also the lessons learnt from interviewing people about finding love and making it last (check out ‘Conversations on Love’ - Natasha’s bimonthly email newsletter investigating love, one conversation at a time).
Really hope you enjoy this episode.
x Selina and Vicki
P.S If you’re feeling stuck in your love life and finding dating to be frustrating and exhausting then come and join 'Get Ready for Love’, our online course that has helped 500+ women to find love. 'Get Ready for Love’ contains the 30 essential lessons that we've found to be the most effective and powerful in getting you ready for love and on your way to a happy and healthy relationship. It’s like having a love coach in your pocket, with advice, tools and guidance that can be listened to during the daily commute or en route to a date! Find out more over here.
I first interviewed Selina for a real love story back in 2015. We reflected on her journey of feeling completely stuck in love and wondering if it was ever going to happen for her, to feeling an abundance of love, and not just with a loving partner (we actually revealed in the podcast that she was expecting!) but the love that she discovered from the inside out.
And now, 3 years later, Selina is back in the hot seat, but this time to tell a much deeper love story.
This is a journey of hitting rock bottom in life and rising strong, healing and finding your way back home with love as your compass. A journey that starts and ends with ourselves.
This is a story that has never been told before and I’m actually hearing it for the first time. There is such a beautiful sense of vulnerability and intimacy to it. It’s everything our podcasts are about - hearing women opening up and sharing from the heart. And that takes real courage. Thank you Selina, it was an honour to hold the space and to hear you tell your story, your REAL love story.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
P.S. next week (21st March), we’re running a free Masterclass ‘A modern approach to finding love’ so if you’re feeling stuck in your love life then come and join us! Head here to save your seat (we’ll send you the recording if you can’t join us live)
P.P.S 'Get Ready for Love’ (our online course to help you to transform your love life) is on its way back 🎉🎉🎉 and almost (ALMOST!) ready to be released back into the world with all new videos, brand new bonus audios from amazing guests and a whole new sparkly platform to access the whole course...watch out for exciting announcements later this week! We are SO excited for you to get your hands on it!!!
So excited to share this podcast with you - a real love story with a friend of mine, Caroline Atkinson, whose love story with Gus spans almost 10 years.
We talk about relationship challenges, the incredible lessons learnt from spending 6 years apart, the importance of taking responsibility for your own happiness and the absolute joy of brunching on your own.
I remember attending a talk with Alain de Botton and he made reference to the fact that novels and films (in particular, fairy tales and rom coms) often don't give us a correct map of love and 'leave us unprepared to deal adequately with the difficulties of being in a couple'. And so we grow up with slightly unrealistic notions of love and what it means to be in a relationship. Hearing Caroline share her story really helped me to understand this more deeply and how we can update our 'map of love' to be more in-line with the realities of relating in today's world.
I was so inspired by Caroline's journey of self discovery and self love and how she and Gus were able to start a new chapter in their relationship and the strength and vulnerability that requires, on both parts. I hope you enjoy this as much as I loved recording it.
We are so excited to share this with you - Selina interviews Vicki as she is fresh from hosting workshops on 'How to be Successful with Online Dating' for Match.com with both men and women.
Listen in to hear about why men and women struggle so much when it comes to online dating and how you can get into the right headspace to enjoy it because what we've learnt is that while online dating can be hard at times, it can also be fun and a great learning journey when you approach it in the right way.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we did recording it!!
And we would love to hear from you - if this resonated with you or if you have any questions on online dating then do drop us a line at: hello<@>loveprojectlove.com and let us know your thoughts, comments and questions (of which we'll answer in future podcasts!)
Love, Vicki & Selina xxx
P.S. If you're feeling stuck in your love life then come and check out the 'Get Ready for Love' 3 month coaching programme with Vicki - she is taking on just two new clients this quarter - imagine if one of them were you. This is your chance to have Vicki as your personal love coach for 3 months, helping you to work through fears, limiting beliefs and negative relationship patterns that are holding you back in your love life. Limited spaces available - get in touch here and let Vicki know where you're stuck and she'll be in touch to arrange a discovery call with you.
PPS And if you'd love to start your 'Get Ready for Love' journey with us online then check out our online course over here which has had 500+ women learn how to approach dating in a loving way and how to get ready for a healthy and happy relationship. As well as having Selina and Vicki as your co-pilots on your 30 day journey, bringing you videos and audio tutorials bursting with energy and love, you would also have access to our private FB group full of like-minded women who support and celebrate each other to grow - it’s gorgeous. We look forward to welcoming you in there!
When I help women who are really stuck in their love lives, the first place I begin is by looking at their mindset and how they feel about their love life and about dating. Because your mindset is THE biggest predictor of success in your life and plays a massive role in determining the health and happiness of your love life.
Research from Carol Dweck, who is the queen of this topic (after studying it for over 20 years) shows that there are two basic mindsets that shape our lives - a fixed mindset (“where success is based on innate ability”) and a growth mindset (“where success is based on hard work, learning and training”).
Dweck’s work shows how someone with a fixed mindset evaluates the world through the binary notions of ‘success/failure’, ‘winner/loser’ and being ‘accepted/rejected’, however someone with a growth mindset sees failure as a temporary setback because their priority is all about learning and growing. And they embrace challenges and learn from their mistakes, which makes them more resilient than someone with a fixed mindset.
So how does this relate to online dating?
Well someone with a fixed mindset would think that they’re not getting results from online dating because they’re just not cut out for it or that they’re unlucky in love. Or they might believe that finding love is down to fate and that ‘it will happen when it’s meant to happen’. Online dating feels hopeless and exhausting from this place, compounded by the fact that other people seem to find guys online no problem.
However, someone with a growth mindset would see online dating as a tool for self growth and an opportunity to get to know people you wouldn’t otherwise have met. Someone with a growth mindset would add the word ‘yet’ to challenges, so they might say “I haven’t met the right person… yet” (usually when well meaning family members ask them that age old question ‘why are you still single’?). They are hopeful about the future and they draw inspiration from the people who are really enjoying online dating and who have met their match online. Rather than feeling threatened by the success of others, they are encouraged by it, as it shows what’s possible for them. They are curious to learn from the success of others and how they work through challenges.
This is the difference between a woman who believes that it’s never going to happen for her when it comes to having a relationship and that all the good guys are gone (so wonders whether there’s any point in persisting with online dating) to the woman who believes that of course it will happen for her, she just hasn't met the right person YET. And it's not a matter of ‘IF’, it’s ‘when’ she's going to meet someone.
When I was coaching a client recently, she was telling me how she has a growth mindset about pretty much everything in her life, particularly in her career but when it comes to love and dating, she feels like she should just ‘know’ how to be really good at it and she puts so much pressure on herself to ‘find the one’. Every date that she goes on that doesn’t result in her finding this person feels like a waste of time and has her feeling like a failure in the love department. Carol Dweck speaks to this in her book ‘Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential’:
You might think that this sounds very much like those quotes on Pinterest that encourage you to ‘focus on the journey and not the destination’ but Dweck’s work is grounded in rigorous research into the mind and the power that we have to change the course of our lives:
So taking inspiration from Dweck’s work, here are 5 ways that you can use the power of mindset to change the course of your love life, by looking at online dating in a whole new way:
1. Set yourself healthy intentions
Most of the online dating advice out there focuses on how to find a partner but that is a huge ask and puts so much pressure on those early interactions, not to mention the pressure it puts on you and your date. See online dating as a tool to meet like-minded people for a coffee, rather than a way to meet your future husband, which will help to take the pressure off those early interactions. And it means that the date is less likely to feel like a job interview and will be way more fun for you!
2. Get inspired
If you’re feeling disillusioned about online dating then time for a shot of inspiration to get you feeling optimistic again. Ask your friends if they know any couples who've met their partner online and go and speak to them and see what you can learn from them. And find examples of women who are really enjoying online dating (they are out there!) - let their optimism inspire you and get you excited about what’s possible for you.
3. Choose to see rejection as redirection
Dealing with rejection is one of the hardest parts of the online dating process because it brings up all of our fears and insecurities about not feeling good enough. Some people find rejection a lot harder to handle than others and it’s our ability to handle rejection that is key in developing resilience when it comes to online dating. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s a good thing (trust me) because it’s impossible to be all things to all people… not to mention exhausting. Rejection isn’t failure, it’s just feedback - maybe it’s feedback about the kind of person that you now know isn’t right for you or maybe there is an opportunity to learn and grow from the experience. Choose to see every rejection as re-directing you to something better.
4. See dating as an adventure to try new things
Clients tell me that they worry about ‘wasting time’ if the date doesn’t go anywhere after the first or second date. So why not see dating as an adventure to try new things? Make a list of places that you’d love to visit or activities that you’d love to try and start ticking things off the list, then if it doesn't go anywhere beyond the first date, you’ve still had fun in the process.
5. Recruit a dating wing woman
You may encounter a whole spectrum of emotions on your dating journey so ask a friend (someone who is positive and optimistic about online dating) to be your dating wing woman to support you and keep your spirits up when you need a boost.
Online dating gets a bad rep but if you think about it, never before have we been more supported and empowered in our love lives. You get to choose how to make online dating work for you (and not the other way around). So if you haven’t been enjoying online dating recently then try approaching it in a different way and see how that helps you to enjoy it more.
The power to change the course of your love life is in your hands and yours alone. And that is an incredibly liberating place to be.
PS Let’s talk more - I would love to hear from you! Drop me an email on <hello[@]loveprojectlove.com> if any of this resonated or if you have any questions or comments. And let me know how you get on with the tips - I really hope they make a difference to you.
PPS If you’re reading this and feeling like you could really do with some help and support in your love life then check out ‘Get Ready for Love’, our 30 day online course that has helped 500+ women learn how to approach dating in a loving way and how to get ready for a healthy and happy relationship. As well as having Selina and me as your co-pilots on your 30 day journey, bringing you videos and audio tutorials bursting with energy and love, you would also have access to our private FB group full of like-minded women who support and celebrate each other to grow - it’s gorgeous. We look forward to welcoming you in there!
If you're looking to have you spirits lifted this week then listen in to this beautiful love story of the gorgeous Luke Montgomery-Smith and his girlfriend Gina. Tune in to hear Luke talk about finding love when he wasn’t expecting it, how relationships can heal and the clarity that can be found when leaning into loneliness.
Luke had seen strong and loving relationships growing up but wasn't convinced this kind of relationship was available to him. It wasn't until he let his guard down and allowed himself to fall in love that things developed. I was so inspired by his openness and level of vulnerability and honesty.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I loved recording it
We’ve got a fresh new podcast for you to enjoy, all about the importance of setting healthy boundaries and learning to say 'no' (the loving way).
It’s a topic that has been coming up a lot lately among our Project Love communities and our friends. It seems to be something everyone knows they need to get good at, but they get stuck on how to do it.
And so we’ve dug in deep and taken a look at why it is so important, why people often get stuck when it comes to setting boundaries and saying ’no’ to people, and how to do it the healthy loving way.
Listen to it below or download it over on iTunes or Soundcloud
Lots of love,
Selina & Vicki
Ever wondered why the guys that you like never seem to fancy you BUT the ones that you don’t like, always seem to fancy the pants off you? Well you’re not alone, it’s been coming up quite a lot amongst the women I work with. The conversation goes something like this:
Client - “When I like a guy, they don’t fancy me. And when they like me, I just don’t fancy them”.
Me - “OK, so tell me about the last date that you went on where you didn’t fancy the guy.”
Client - “It was like going out with a friend, I wasn't that bothered about what he thought, I ordered a pint and I was just being myself”
Me - “And what about if you DID fancy him?”
Client - “I would have been more girly with him, I would have ordered wine instead of a pint and I would have sipped it and been more delicate and ladylike. I’m usually a bit of a loudmouth who likes to crack jokes but if I fancied him, I would have reigned that in and been more mysterious”
With the guy she fancied, she felt the need to perform and impress him, as there’s more at stake. This could be the one she could marry one day, so she needed to be on best behaviour, right?
We laughed about the Chris Rock sketch where he talks about dating:
Relationships, easy to get into, hard to maintain. Why are they so hard to maintain? Because it’s hard to keep up the lie! ‘Cause you can’t get nobody being you… When you meet somebody for the first time, you’re not meeting them. You’re meeting their representative.”
So my question to you is..
Who do you bring with you on a date? Yourself? Or your representative?
If you’re like some of my clients then it’s usually the latter. Why? Because it’s scary to reveal your whole self, dating feels like a job interview where you’re being judged on how you look and everything you do or say. Bringing the representative feels like the safer option, the mask to hide behind so if it all goes tits up then you never really lost anything. But when you don’t show up as your whole self, what you sacrifice is human connection and when you have two representatives show up on a date then it kind of makes the whole thing a bit pointless. Here’s what to do about it:
- Relax your expectations on what the date means - use online dating as a way to meet like-minded people and not a way to find a life partner. If you go into the date with huge expectations, it will put unnecessary pressure on yourself and your date and it will feel like a job interview where you need to perform and impress. Instead, see online dating as a tool to meet people for a coffee and a chat and go from there, taking the pressure off those early interactions.
- Adopt an attitude of gratitude - dating can trigger all sorts of fears and insecurities, especially the fear of not being good enough. Instead of focusing on all the things you lack, shift your mindset by focusing on all the things that make you great. Step into the shoes of a loved one and think about all the things they love about you and all the ways they appreciate you and respect you. You could even ask a good friend to tell you! Make a list of all your best attributes and keep reminding yourself of these.
- Let go of the need to be ‘cool’ - it’s tempting to bring your ‘cool representative’ to a date but honestly, all people ever want from us is to show up as ourselves. Brene Brown says “The need to ‘be cool’ is an emotional straightjacket. It keeps us from moving, growing, stretching and feeling free” and if we’re hiding behind our cool then how can we connect fully with someone? Allow yourself to be un-cool and own it.
- Use your feelings as your compass - how do you want to feel on the date itself? Playful, inspired, at ease? Then work back from there when you plan the date itself so if it doesn’t go anywhere after the first date, then you’ve still had a great experience, which takes the pressure off your date and will help you to relax and have some fun. You could suggest one of your date ideas the next time someone asks you out. Or why not make the first move?
- Set out your boundaries - think about how much time and energy you’re willing to commit to dating and set out some boundaries that are suited to your needs. So for one of my clients, she knows that her energy levels are best in the mornings so she’s experimenting with brunch dates. And for another client, her working week is pretty full on and she’s been struggling to fit in evening dates so now she’s limited dating to just one night a week to keep the weekends free for catching up with friends and getting some me-time.
- See rejection as redirection - each time you get rejected, they are setting you free to find someone who would be right for you, so extend gratitude and see rejection as a weeding-out process to find someone better.
I think it's no coincidence that the guys that my clients don’t like seem to fancy them because when the stakes are lower, they have permission to be themselves. That is all anyone really wants from us. Authenticity is a choice, one that you can make right now. So dare to be you, show up as yourself and give your representative the day off!
If you’ve enjoyed this and feeling like you need some guidance to figure this dating stuff out then come and join us on our Get Ready for Love 30 day course
This week we've cooked up a podcast dedicated to those of you who are out there dating. Because we LOVE you ladies. We know it isn't always an easy journey (mine certainly wasn't at first!), but what often makes it hard is actually your own Shitty Committee - that internal negative voice that is always quick to criticise you, tell you what you're doing wrong, tell you when you're not good enough and generally fill your head with doubts and fears.
And if that Shitty Committee voice has a strong power over you, then it can cause all sorts of havoc when you're dating.
So what can you do about that negative voice in your head that can cause so much dating discomfort?
Well that is what this podcast is all about. It's a good one. You can download or listen to it over on Soundcloud or iTunes.
And if you’re not already doing our Get Ready for Love course then what are you waiting for? Come and join us today and we’ll really get to work on your Shitty Committee straight away :)
I'm writing this before I catch an early flight tomorrow to join Vicki and Pav for their huge wedding celebrations in Spain (I'll be documenting things over on instagram).
But before I go I wanted to leave you with a podcast that I've just put up on iTunes that we recorded just before Vicki left. It's all about 'How to love and be in a relationship without losing yourself'. It is a concern that a lot of our clients have been voicing recently, so we decided to dig deep into it and wow, what a fascinating conversation it turned out to be.
Have a listen to it below and let us know what experiences you've had of losing yourself or seeing friends lose themselves in relationships.
In this weeks podcast, I got to interview Gail Schock - happiness coach, meditation teacher and all round wonderful human. Gail had been out of the dating game for 8 years when she decided to do a Tinder experiment with her husband. The whole 'swipe if you like' vibe left her feeling empty and sad, which invited an interesting enquiry - 'was it possible to actually enjoy the dating process if we approached it from a different perspective - one that would give us more freedom and one where we could actually feel good about ourselves in the process?'
We talked dating struggles, relationship fears, speaking our truth, asking for what we need, connecting to our divine feminine and getting into our womb wisdom (oh yes). Plus so much more. This is a bloody juicy podcast and I can't wait for you to listen to it.
Gail also kindly recorded a special meditation just for us, designed to get you feeling in a great headspace around dating - use it before you fire up Tinder or before you leave the house for a date.
Love, Vicki x
PS this is a topic that we're really passionate about, which is why we've dedicated a third of our Get Ready for Love 30 day course to 'Approaching Dating in a Loving Way' - offering exclusive podcasts, videos (inc guided coaching vids), an online dating guide to writing a killer profile and special guest interviews. Approaching dating from this place transforms your whole experience of dating. Find out more here
This weekend was Vicki's hen weekend (check out the glitter and celebrations on instagram @loveprojectlove) and as part of the fun we decided to rustle up a bit of a special surprise for her:
A Real Love Story with none other than the man she is going to marry in a couple of months: Mr Mark Pavitt (here he is with Vicki, the pair of cuties).
It is a gorgeous interview, not only because it is Vicki’s fiancee talking about how they met and what he loves about her and their relationship, but because Mark offers wonderful insights into how baggage from past relationships and attempts to protect ourselves can heavily affect our behaviour in the early days of dating and he gives the most beautiful message to Vicki at the end.
So without further ado...here it is: A Real Love Story with Mr Mark Pavitt (the man Vicki is about to marry!)
You can listen to it over on iTunes or Soundcloud (it will be up on the site on Monday but I needed to hide it from Vicki for now!)
Lots of love,
Last month Vicki and I both celebrated our anniversaries with our partners (must be something about May!) - Vicki celebrated 5 years (and is soon to get married) and I celebrated 2 years (and a baby!).
So we decided to use it as an opportunity to take a step back and reflect on what we have each learnt this year on how to keep the love flowing in our relationships.
And we decided to do it in front of a camera - our first Project Love VLOG!
We talk about having the courage to ask for what you need in a relationship (most people aren't mind readers after all!), the importance of self-care in a relationship and how easily a relationship is impacted when one or both of you aren't looking after yourselves properly. Vicki shares what she does when her relationship needs a bit of a reset and I talk about the lessons I've learnt this year on how to manage my anger and express it the right way .
And this one isn't just for the couples out there. I found when I was single that listening to conversations about how to keep the love alive in relationships and how to make relationships last, helped me to get clear on how I wanted to be in my next relationship and it really has made a big difference.
So I hope you enjoy the video and please share with us the lessons that you have learnt in love by leaving comments below.
Lots of love,
This week we've opened up the juicy topic of fate. Is finding a loving partner really all down to fate?
We don't think so.
In fact we reckon that if you're putting your love-life in the hands of fate, then that could be the very reason why you're not finding it.
So in this week's podcast we decided to put fate into the hot seat, challenge the very notion of love as being something that is magically bestowed upon us...or not...by the mysterious hand of fate and instead show you what you can do to take your love-life out of the hands of fate and back into your own hands.
Or as Vicki put it 'grab your love-life by the balls'.
So hit play and listen in, or download from Soundcloud and let us know what YOU think. Is finding love down to fate or not?
x Selina & Vicki
What does it mean to approach dating in a loving way, in an era of swiping left and right?
What impact does believing common dating myths have on our self worth?
And how can we give up the game when it comes to dating?
These are just some of the questions that we answer in our latest podcast - 'The Loving Way of Dating', recorded especially for our good friends at Frame.
Listen in as we share our top 5 tips on how you can step out of a fearful place and into a loving space around dating. A space where you can relax, take the pressure off meeting "the one", have some fun and dare to be you.
X Vicki and Selina
Sometimes what we need the most is to get out of our head and into our bodies. Especially when the shitty committee is in town (that bitchy voice that points out our failures and flaws).
This is a key part of Getting Ready for Love because our bodies have such power. They allow us to access and release emotions that are getting in the way of love from flowing and they open us up to different sides of us (sides that have been perhaps dormant for too long).
And this is what our latest podcast is all about. Check it out and have a think of the ways that you can show your body some love. Let us know over on FB or Twitter which body love activities you're going to do!
And if you're stuck for ideas (and live in London) then we can't recommend Frame enough to get into the body-love-zone - we love Frame Rave and 80's Aerobics
Vicki and Selina x
In today's podcast, we take you through what we have found to be the 5 essential elements to creating a happy and healthy love life.
We discuss the many things that get in the way of love and we show you how to clear the blocks to allow love to flow more freely in and out of your life. Or rather, how to be your own love factory!
Listen in, try out some of the exercises and let us know how you get on!
x Selina and Vicki
Happy Day of Love people!
To celebrate this special day, we've got a juicy real love story as I interview our very own Selina Barker!
Listen in to hear Selina share her beautiful love story as she reflects on Valetine's Day this year to the two preceding Valentine's Days.
Woven into her story, she reveals the lessons learnt along the way with advice for single women who want to find a happy and healthy relationship.
Plus a very exciting piece of news!!