Exclusive EXAholics.com interview with NYC’s Top Dateologist, Tracey Steinberg By Dr. Robi Ludwig

May 1st, 2014
Book Cover 3D jpg     If you want to attract someone great into your life, former attorney turned dateologist, Tracey Steinberg  www.Tracey Steinberg.com  can help you do it. She is the author of Flirt for Fun and Meet the One, as well as a dating coach and flirting expert. She has used her expertise to help may women and men find that special someone they’ve been looking for. Her successful dating coaching programs have led to countless successful relationships in both the New York and Los Angeles areas, as well as all across the USA and around the world.

      In addition to being extremely talented and passionate about her work, she is on a personal mission to help everyone find lasting love. I sat down with her recently to find out more about her thoughts regarding the ever popular topic, what it takes to find and keep love!

 What’s is the most important recommendation  you have for people who are trying to move forward, and towards their relationship goals? What do they need to keep in mind when they are trying to find a healthy and rewarding relationship? 

Like attracts like and a healthy, confident person will only be with another healthy, confident person.  If you can’t honestly say that you are in a healthy place yet then I’d rather you work on building your self-esteem, cutting unhealthy ties, learn what is truly important to you in a relationship, learn how to spot “undercover hotties,” and improve your dating skills overall before you try to find that healthy relationship.  Then, once you are in a healthy place I say GO FOR IT!!! You need quantity to find quality so get your booty over to speed dating events, various singles events, ask your friends to introduce you to other singles, and create an amazing online profile on a site which has lots of members.  If you keep putting yourself in a position to meet new people you will meet a lot of people and eventually the creme will rise to the top. Before you know it you’ll meet someone special and the reasons why it didn’t work out with your ex will become crystal clear.

 What type of personality characteristics are most helpful when it comes to moving forward after a difficult break up in order to feel good about themselves, and ultimately find love? 

Moving forward after a difficult break up can be extremely challenging. Like every great challenge in life, when you have optimism, hope and faith you can do what is necessary to move forward and find real love. If you aren’t feeling that way right now it is smart to spend some time figuring out what will make you feel that way.  Perhaps you’d like to think about other times in your life when you weren’t feeling hopeful and it all worked out?  Perhaps you’d like to go somewhere that supports your faith that everything will work out for the best? Whatever supports you having optimism, hope and faith is worth it during this challenging time.

What 3 tips can you give our readers, that will help them get the most out of their dating life? 

a. Don’t take any relationship seriously until you are in a serious relationship and that person has earned your emotions.

b. Understand that not everyone is available to everyone at every minute and its not about YOU.  Some people are married, some people just lost their job and some people will think you look like their ex who broke their heart. You aren’t going to be right for everyone just like everyone’s not going to be right for you and its not a big deal.  Just wipe that dirt off your shoulder and keep going forward.

c. Embrace the adventure that comes with meeting new people and trying new things and have as much fun as humanly possible as a single person.

 Where are the best places to meet the right man or the right women today? 

Singles events, speed dating events, online dating and your every day life are teeming with exciting singles who want to meet someone special.  The more people you meet the more likely it is that you’ll meet the right person.  So, put on a cute outfit, get out of your home (unless you’re on an online dating site), smile big and say “hi,” to all of the attractive people around you. I’ve had many clients who have met their wives and husbands through both the traditional way and random ways.  You just never know when you’ll bump into someone who turns out to be the love of your life.  But you need to put yourself in a position where that is possible on a consistent basis.

 What can readers learn from your new book that will help them flirt and find the one? 

My new book, “Flirt For Fun & Meet The One,” is a fun and easy-to-read book which reveals how to figure out who is and isn’t worthy of your precious time, how to attract the best person for you, how to flirt effortlessly, where to go to find high-quality singles, and how to keep your hot date desperate for more.  I’m really proud of it and I’m so happy to share that the reviews on Amazon have been pretty amazing.

What’s the best way to learn more about you and your services? 

My site www.TraceySteinberg.com is filled with dating advice that includes everything from how to move forward after a bad breakup to how to best enjoy the single life to how to maintain a healthy relationship once you’ve met someone special.  I also work one-on-one privately with people and host my uber-fun Flirting Parties in which I encourage everyone to flirt with each other.  Now THOSE are a lot of fun :-)

 

 

From Breakup to Breakthrough

March 12th, 2014

From Break Up to Breakthrough
By Dr. Robi Ludwig

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Nothing can deflate an ego or jab you through the heart more than a love relationship gone bad. Rejection is never easy, but it’s especially tough when it comes from the person who you’ve built so many of your fantasies and life dreams around.
Let’s face it, we live in a world that idealizes love, romance and relationships. It feels good to be part of a couple, even when we really like who we are and enjoy our own company. So when a breakup happens, it tends to set into motion many of our insecurities, self doubts and obsessional thinking.
As a NYC psychotherapist, breakups are one of the top problems I help patients work through in treatment. Why? Because breakups hurt! They hurt emotionally, they hurt physically, and are often used as one more way to prove one’s lack of lovability in the romance department.
Researchers have long been fascinated by why these unwanted breakups affect us the way they do. Most people understand feeling rejected and dejected are common experiences. So is the feeling of being unable to let go; even when you should and really want to. Family and friends might push you to get over the relationship-gone-bad and just move on, yet brain researchers have a new understanding about why this may be easier said than done; especially during the first few months after a relationship ends.
The following studies were done on unmarried college students, but they still give us some insight into why these events are so emotionally tough to tolerate. MRI’s, known as functional Magnetic resonance imaging brain scans, show some interesting activity in several specific areas of the brain, when the rejected individual sees a photo of their ex. The scientists who conducted this study found the same areas of the brain lit up including the insula and anterior cingulate cortex, known to be associated with the experience of physical pain.

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And there may be a physiological reason for craving our ex, too. MRI’s recorded brain activity of people who recently experienced a break up, but still felt love for their ex. When viewing photographs of their former partners, activity in the area of the brain associated with reward and motivation, specifically, the release of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and addiction. The love lorn experiences cravings for an ex, in a similar way that a drug addict craves drugs.
The evolutionary explanation for this could be nature’s way of protecting us. In the wild, our chance of sidestepping predators, are increased when we are part of a group vs. alone. Social rejection may have at one time been an actual threat to our physical survival for our early ancestors. If this is true, it could explain why it’s so difficult to let go of an ex and move on.

The good news is, despite the short term pain caused by breakups, the longer term findings show most people are resilient and recover from them. Other studies show brain activity in the craving parts of the brain also decreased as time goes on. The similarity to addiction may give those experiencing a break up, a framework to better understand the intensity of their feelings. As is true for addicts dealing with addictions, it helps to have a supportive network, like the one found on www.exaholics.com where you can find a group of people you can rely on for emotional support. It’s important to have people you can turn to when you’re tempted to call that ex and/or just regress in general. And if people, places or activities associated with your past relationship or your ex, trigger your cravings, it might be best to avoid them all together, and add some new routines into your life repertoire.

Breakups although painful, shouldn’t be viewed as failures. They should be viewed as lessons. There is always hope for a loving future. Why not view the pain from a break up as growing pains instead? Growing pains to the gateway of a new and improved life, you’re about to venture into.

Why Do So Many Songs Talk About Home?

January 30th, 2014

http://http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/music-home-play-well-together/#.UyCKxTucfyU.facebookWhy Your Home RocksWhy Are There So Many Songs About “Home”? (Video)
By Dr. Robi Ludwig

Home Rocks

Artists across all genres sing about “home.” What is it about this idea of home that makes it so popular among artists and lyricists?

Music is one of the most powerful and universal vehicles to represent and convey our inner emotions. It’s not only an important part of our cultural dialogue, but it also plays a key role in how we feel. Music can lift our spirits and in doing so, improve our quality of life. Music therapy has been used for centuries as a way to restore energy, improve mood, and even help the body heal. Research in “http://morehappy.me/tag/happiness/” The Journal of Positive Psychology and  “http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2013/0514-trying-to-be-happier-works-when-listening-to-upbeat-music-according-to-mu-research/” scientists at the University of Missouri found people can improve their mood and overall sense of happiness just by listening to upbeat music. Given all of these benefits, it’s interesting to observe how one of the most talked about topics in all music is this idea of “home.”

To create something that resonates with their audience, skilled lyricists communicate an intimate part of themselves. Writing a song from the heart is the best way to reach out and connect to an audience. Compelling descriptions about a touching experience are the most powerful way to bring listeners deeper into the artist’s world.

And that’s where the idea of home comes into the psychology of songwriting. If home truly is where the heart is, what better topic is there to communicate a message from the heart? When artists turn to experiences that shaped their lives, many times they turn home.

photo (1)Why Your Home RocksYouTube Preview Image

Homes carry unique emotional meaning for all of us. No matter who you are or where you’re from, home means something to you. Homes serve as the backdrop for our childhood memories as well as the background of the interpersonal dramas in our lives. Our homes hold an iconic status as a place we can always belong. A place we can always be ourselves, let our guard down and still be loved. This commercial from Coldwell Banker captures the feeling of home pretty well. Home is a place you look forward to, a place where just being yourself is good enough.

Music and home share some surprising parallels. Music has the power to unite people. It’s a language that seems to speak to who we really are. And it’s a language that is always evolving. So many emotions exist inside of our music, and there is an undeniable intimate and personal side to it.

Eco-Budget-Conscious Fashionistas, This is Your Lucky Year to Shine!!

January 30th, 2014

by Dr. Robi Ludwig

www.mindycara.com

www.mindycara.com

    In the middle of a crowded and popular New York City diner on Madison Avenue, I had the opportunity to interview two lovely and dynamic ladies in the fashion world: Bonnie Levine and Stephanie Pietromonaco. This dynamic duo have been friends since kindergarten and are now the enterprising pair behind the luxury e-commerce consignment shop, www.Mindycara.com.
    Budget conscious fashionistas are now in luck! This on-line store specializing in selling luxury, preowned designer clothes and accessories, is now available to anyone who wants to look like a movie star but has to consider the financial bottom line. The site, which originally launched on ebay, became Mindycara.com in 2013.
    What’s so striking about Bonnie and Stephanie is the passion and vision they have for their store as well as how they make others feel about themselves. After sitting with them for only a few moments, I too felt like I could have been friends with them since grade school.
    Bonnie and Stephanie clearly have an eye for beautiful clothes, but more importantly, they know how to take care of their valued customers. The Mindycara client becomes one of their special friends. The buyer becomes a friend who is taken care of and can trust these two owners to have her best interests at heart. Perhaps this is one reason Mindycara.com is becoming a favorite go-to-site amongst chic women who want to feel and look their best at a more economical price.
   It’s this nurturing approach that’s helped the owners to cultivate a unique clothing-owner-clientele relationship. The clients who share their clothes with them consist of New York City’s high profile, socialites, TV personalities, artists, designers, as well as the ladies who lunch crowd.
Bonnie and Stephanie bring their respective professional backgrounds in business, marketing, fashion, in addition to their stellar artistic eye, to carefully curate authentic, quality clothes that have classic appeal. And whatever they are doing, it’s working, because they now have both worldwide clients and buyers who are hooked and loyal fans.
    Let’s face it, designer clothes are the dream of every fashion conscious woman. The magic behind these clothes is that they’re gorgeous, well tailored, and in some cases can even boost one’s social status. They almost always boost one’s visual self-esteem. Choosing the “right” clothes is not only about being fashionable, but enhances a woman’s take control attitude and that feel good from the inside out. Mindycara.com intuitively understands well-made, well-designed clothes which can enhance a woman’s appearance and empower her to do great things. I think we can all agree, when a woman is confident, she radiates a special kind of beauty and glow.
    Bonnie and Stephanie were recently honored when Mindycara Luxury Consignment was recognized among the leaders in the fashion industry. The fashion industry and environmentally conscious individuals recognized them as being a small business, helping to save the environment, by encouraging women to “recycle” their luxury goods, which might otherwise end up in landfills.
    As we finished up our delightful lunch, a stunning Upper East Side Fashionista stopped by our table to say, “Hello” and to let these two ladies know she had more fabulous clothes to send Mindycara’s eco-chic way.
    Mindycara.com is looking forward to a successful 2014. Bonnie and Stephanie plan to grow their business. Their secret for success is to continue to provide exemplary customer service to both their clients who trust them to sell their luxury items, as well as their exquisitely tasteful buyers, who now proudly come from all over the world.

Life Lessons Learned Over Coffee

November 15th, 2011

I don’t always know where my life lessons or inspirations are going to come from. Sometimes they come from an article or a good book. Other times they occur while I’m at work or on vacation, when my thoughts seem to focus on the complexities of life. This time my inspiration came from a friend as we were heading to our children’s school for a special event. We were chatting about this and that (as we often do), when she said something that really struck a chord in me. In my friend’s authentic, heartfelt way, she said, “I really want everyone to get what they want.”

I believe I responded with a surprising, “Really?!”

To which she replied, “Really! I really do!”

Now, if this comment had come from anyone else, I might have questioned its genuineness. But in this case, I knew my friend, and I knew I could trust the honesty of her words. She is truly a unique individual — unique in the best possible way. I knew we had to meet again, so I could learn more about how she could be so emotionally generous and be so non-competitive — traits I find particularly appealing. I quickly emailed her to let her know how she inspired me, and told her I’d like to meet up with her and learn more about her impressive philosophy. Funny enough, she had no idea what she could possibly have said to inspire my enthusiastic response.

Ellie (not her actual name) is a true bohemian in the best possible sense of the word. She’s smart, artistically gifted and definitely walks through life in her own distinct and charismatic way. She has friends who are very famous and very wealthy and friends who are not. To her, what other people have materially or do not have makes no difference to the quality of her life. She takes pride in her friends’ successes regardless of what’s happening to her personally. She will openly admit if something is beyond the comfort zone of her wallet as easily and effortlessly as most people talk about the weather. There’s no shame, no guardedness and perhaps most impressively, no status anxiety. In a consumer and status driven world, especially so in New York City, this trait is both special and rare.

We decided to meet for an early morning coffee. I explained to my friend that I needed to find out the secrets behind her ability to live such a generous and envy-free life. When I posed the question to her, she admitted she may not have thought this way or have been such a well-wisher 25 years ago, but over the years, there was something about knowing herself and coming into her own which helped her hone this particular approach to life. I was ready to soak in whatever insights she was ready to share. Although I consider myself a pretty good person, I can’t honestly say I don’t have my moments of feeling competitive or envious. Ellie talked about how she didn’t want what other people had. She doesn’t want “their stuff” as she put it. She wants what she wants, so other people’s lives and what they have or don’t have, have little effect on her life. In fact, sometimes knowing the intimate details, like who earns or owns what, just feels like additional mental clutter to her which she doesn’t want or need. Ellie is able to make this boundary between other people and herself. I just had to ask her,

“What happens when someone does have what she wants?” What then? This must happen sometimes?” I inquired. She agreed that every so often she is aware of those people who seem to be extraordinarily beautiful and blessed or those individuals who seem to have things come so easily and effortlessly, but instead of focusing on this aspect of reality, she instead notices something else equally as true: Life goes by in a flash. This uber awareness of the speed of time helps her to appreciate how special and important the present moment can be. She knows what’s special about her life and realizes these moments may not last forever. She has trained herself to appreciate what’s good about her life in the moment.

“Focusing on what other people have or don’t have,” she said, “has nothing to do with me creating what I want in my life.”

I certainly could appreciate what she was saying. The truth is, other people who have whatever it is they have, aren’t taking anything away from what we have or what we could have. Each person has the opportunity to create more of the life they want to live. It reminds me of a quote said, by the late, great Audrey Hepburn:

“Pick the day. Enjoy it — to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come… The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present, and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.”
— Audrey Hepburn

The bottom line is, like Audrey Hepburn, Ellie doesn’t want to waste her life being a bitter person. And why would she? Why would anyone want to waste their time living in perpetual pain or victim-hood? So as our coffee break ended, I decided to ask just a couple of final questions.

“How do you handle other people’s judgments about you? And how do you handle the snobs who cross your path?”

Ellie answered with a self-assured ease, “Well, that’s not my problem. That’s really their problem, isn’t it?” Point well-taken!

Although I can’t say I am as evolved as my friend is, not yet anyway, one of the many pleasures of living in New York City is being surrounded by so many smart and multi-dimensional women who inspire me. The truth is, life has challenges no matter who you are or what others seem to have. To let out of control envy or competitiveness rob us of our ability to enjoy our lives would be an unfortunate waste of precious time. If we can stop our ego from getting in the way, I bet more of us could adopt what I consider to be my friend’s advanced way of being in the world.

The bottom line is we need to train ourselves to be grateful for the blessings in our lives, appreciate the gifts of being in the moment even if they are difficult and then learn how to work hard to create more of the life we want to create. If we can learn how to do this, I think life can be a lot more, meaningful, fun and truly more enjoyable.

But I’m Not Ready For The Two of You to Divorce Yet!

November 15th, 2011

My son recently came back after spending the day with one of his closest friends. He had this look in his eyes that said, “I have something interesting to say.”

“Hey, Mom, do you know why my friend has two homes in the city?” he asked with genuine curiosity.

So I came up with one plausible theory, “Maybe one apartment belongs to his grandparents and now the family bought this new apartment for themselves?”

My son always seems to be interested in life’s stories, so the conversation up until this point wasn’t so unusual.

Then he made this great reveal, “No, that’s not it! I know why. It’s because his parents are separating. They’re no longer living together!”

I responded with great surprise, “Are you sure? Don’t spread rumors that aren’t true!” I obviously was in denial over this news. I don’t tend to believe unsubstantiated rumors, but I have to admit, I was more then a little shocked. As psychotherapist specializing in relationships, I’m the first to understand that you never know what is really going on in other people’s marriages, but this couple looked so happy and well suited for each other. Although I didn’t know the couple as a couple intimately, they always looked so together. When you walked into their apartment, a huge wedding photo of the two of them hung prominently in the foyer. The husband was a very handsome and successful professional; he was also a great dad. He’s the type of man people find appealing. His wife was equally as impressive and attractive and always a lot of fun to be around. She’s successful in her own right, holding down a cool, high powered job in TV. Their two children were as adorable as they were well behaved. I found myself thinking, WOW! Is this really it for them? The thought truly saddened me.

Now it’s my sad response that caught me by surprise. I had no right to feel sad for this couple. For all I know, this is the best decision for everyone involved, but I guess the romantic in me wasn’t so sure this was the best decision for them. I had this gnawing feeling that maybe this decision was a bit premature. Could it be that we as a culture give up on marriage and each other too easily? We are a society who likes convenience, ease, and expediency. When things stop being easy, we find ourselves wanting more or wanting out. We want to move on to the next best thing. After all, aren’t we entitled to be happy and to have the best life has to offer? Do we feel we are settling for less when our relationships stop offering us this sexy or gratifying experience?

What happens in marriage that some of us so quickly want to give up on them verses work on them? Is it our notion about love and what love should feel or look like that confuse things? It was clear to those who knew this couple that they really did love each other once. Is it the discovery about who we really marry verses the fantasy of who we thought we were marrying that gets us in the end? If we’re being honest with ourselves, do we really work hard enough to sort through our marital issues to get through them and reach the other side of unsatisfied? When you ask couples who have been together a long time and have experienced the natural vicissitudes of marriage, they often say how happy they are to have stuck it out and how worth it was for them to work through the tough times. Maybe my reaction was simply a matter of me not being ready for this couple to go their separate ways? I wanted them to give it another try, because they still seemed to have so much promise.

I have no idea what the future holds for these two people. Maybe they will both find other partners and be happy they made the choice to go their separate ways. But it still leaves me with the question, are we a culture that gives up on our life partners too soon? Do we peter out along the way and tell ourselves we married the wrong person and a better partner has got to be out there somewhere, hopefully not too far away. Clearly, there are no right answers here, really just more questions than anything else. But it’s certainly worth some serious consideration. Perhaps our notions of love and marriage cause us to give up prematurely on relationships that with a little more faith, effort, and reason could really stand the test of time.

To Spank or Not to Spank, That Is the Question!

November 15th, 2011

In the middle of a popular New York City toy store stood a very tearful little boy. He looked no more than 5 years old as he increased his tearful pleas. The young dad bent down and unsuccessfully tried to reason with his increasingly disgruntled son, who at this point turned up his already loud screams as he threatened his father to buy this very expensive toy for him.

The young son (let’s call him Sam) screamed, “If you don’t get me this toy, then I’m not going to talk to you, and I’m not going to sleep in your bed anymore!”

While the bed issue is a topic for another article, Sam’s father trying, in an unnaturally calm, saccharine and weak state, to reason theoretically with his impulsive, temper-infused son was clearly not working.

“Sam,” said the dad, “this is a very expensive store, and your birthday is right around the corner, so now is just not the right time to get you this kind of gift.”

Sam, for his part, wasn’t having any of it, so his threats against his father continued — relentlessly. He stood his ground and wasn’t having any of his father’s logic. He simply continued with his own verbal diatribe.

“Then I’m not going to love you or talk to you anymore!”

I really had to remove myself from this scene or I would have been in serious danger of putting in my two cents, which would have been an unwise move, because I give psychological analyses on national TV.

My impulse, however, was to talk on behalf of this dad and say, “Is this a promise? You won’t talk to me anymore?” (How about starting now?!) I found the father equally infuriating. This child didn’t need to be given reason; he needed parameters. One could even argue that he needed a firm hand in this instance. Sometimes, children push so hard because they need to know their limits and, on some level, want those limits to be enforced.

My thoughts wandered back to a moment in my psychoanalytical training when a fellow student, a father, spoke with much sadness and regret over spanking his daughter when she was a child. His child had recently told him how emotionally damaging this was for her. I was quite shocked by his daughter’s extreme upset, because I was a child who was spanked all the time! My fellow classmate, this remorseful father, was very surprised as I talked fondly and humorously about my childhood memories of getting spanked. He was very surprised that I didn’t feel particularly scarred by these physical punishments — not at all! I explained to him that I felt very loved by my parents, even as they were intermittently exasperated by me and felt the need show this feeling by a spanking. Who knows? Maybe I even deserved it back then.

Now, as the parent of two children ages 9 and 12, I don’t choose to embrace my parents’ physical style of punishment. Each of my children may have been spanked once in their lives, once when my son slapped me across the face, and once when my daughter was very young, completely out of control and in real need of some major limit-setting. Since then, time-outs, strong verbal limit-setting and a sense of humor seem to do the trick for them and their blessed temperaments, which is not from my side of the family, to be sure!

Do I believe in spanking? No, not really, but when carried out in a thoughtful way and not out of parental angst, spanking can work as an effective disciplining tool with certain types of children. However, I don’t think reasoning with an unreasonable 5-year-old who is threatening not to love you or talk to you unless you buy him the whim of the moment is the right way to go, either.

This child needed some firm comments from his father, such as, “Stop your begging, you’re not getting this toy, and you’re not to threaten me, either. You are not going to get this toy at this time, and we are leaving this store — now!

The entire point of setting limits is to prepare our children for the world they will live in. If they do not get discipline from their parents who love and care for them the most, then they will get it from far harsher people in the world that they will have to learn to navigate, and that could prove to be a very unpleasant experience.

Setting limits in a strong and effective way is loving your children, and on a certain level, your kids know that, too. They realize that parents who care enough about them to stand up to them and set limits are mature adults doing their parental job: providing love, care and preparation for the adult world that their children will one day enter. Parents who do give love along with limits are preparing their kids for life and the real world, which, at times, is not always so loving or easy. As parents, our job is to prepare our kids to live successfully in their personal world as well as in the outside world, which comes complete with rules, regulations and imperfections. And this training begins with us as parents.