Post pandemic pause, working from home, remotely and/or virtually, people are feeling the impacts of isolation. Is this true for you? Especially in terms of their personal life regardless of a successful professional life?
Why is this important?
Kevin O’Connor coaches from the heart with an emphasis on the practical, the tangible and the masculine.
Do you have a plan around balancing your Personal Happiness with as much attention as you give to your Professional Progress?
Relationship Guide and Dating Wiz, Kevin O’Connor joins me in conversation around a conscious journey into relationships. Kevin is an intuitive, connected, powerful and masculine life coach helping people to be a better version of themselves and have a happier and more fulfilled life.
About the Guest
The Online Dating Recipe a 4 week program for powerful women on how to succeed in online dating. https://www.practicalmasculinity.net?aff=3
About the Show
Podcast Host: Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey with Michelle St Jane
A podcast for Global and Re-Emerging Leadership creating community/tribe, a circle of influence, transcendency of compassionate leadership in the world and wider universe. A unique destination for learning about Leadership + Conscious Stewardship + Legacy.
Intro: [00:00:00] You're listening to life and leadership, a conscious journey. The podcast that shares wisdom and strength. Join your host Dr. Michelle St Jane, in her weekly conversation on how to have a positive impact for people planet and the wider world. If you want to live a life with intention, to be proactive with your time, and bring your vision for the future to life one today at a time you were in the right place at the right time. Let's get started.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:00:37] He is practical masculinity and intuitive. Connected, powerful and a masculine life coach. Kevin has a way of seeing the whole person, asking the right questions and offering the right amount of support. His wealth of experience as a husband, lover, father, son and now single adds to his experiences. As an entrepreneur he helps his clients understand every situation.
Kevin, welcome to the episode. How did you find the path to being a man coach, relationship guide and dating whiz?
Kevin O'Connor: [00:01:09] Well, the way most people do. They discover what they do badly. Sometimes they invest in time and energy on trying to do those well. Then in my case, thinking maybe there's some lessons that I could have learned 20, 30, 40 years ago, and some struggles that I could have avoided, or I could, in a sense.
Some of the learnings that I have had over the last little while I share that with others. I motivate them to maybe skip some of the hardest stuff and be a little bit more successful.
So it really comes from my own personal experience. As they say, with any coaching, you're really coaching into yourself anyway. So all of these areas that I now coach into these are all areas that I felt that I fell short in my life and maybe I was struggling in, and then I focus some attention on it.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:01:55] Exactly. You can either go through it or grow through it. Squeeze [00:02:00] the wisdom out of the pain, you know, you can teach it, share it and help people evolve. Thank you for that.
Tell me about your journey. You have a lovely line about being a husband, a lover, a father, son, and now single. Sounds like a story there.
Kevin O'Connor: [00:02:14] Well, like many people somewhere along the line, there was a life path that I was to follow and like many people that was influenced to a great deal by the external world, by parents, by family, by the social environment that I grew up in. Sometimes that path is not necessarily your own path.
[00:02:37] For me, it was overachievement, lots of education. I spent 10 years in college. Universities as they say, I'm Canadian. So we say university. I'm in the States and they say college. Five different colleges and three degrees. And overachieving, married early, children, early and successful children. Both children are independent, both are well-educated and sort of everything kind of lined up.
I was married for 30 years. Then at some point in my life, things started to unravel, but not massive. Sometimes you can have these massive breakdowns and then you go, wow, okay. That's a wakeup call. For me it was a more of a, kind of like insidious, kind of like just an undercurrent of unhappiness and not really feeling restless enough.
[00:03:20] I knew what I was called to do. What my role was and not knowing how I can make a difference. I am a business guy. Lots of business experience. I’ve started multiple businesses and love that ,love business, a real entrepreneur, and have a real sort of risk-taking personality. And then it was working until it wasn't working.
And the marriage was working until it wasn't working. I didn't really know and have the skillset to be able to make adjustments in those really substantive things like relationship, communication, intimacy, problem solving, conflict resolution, creating harmony. Resiliency. All of these things are sort of foundational in relationship. Yet, they were never part of my focus. I wasn't skilled in that area.
As in many cases and many relationships that unhappiness manifested itself, in my case, in infidelity. In making decisions in my life to help me cope with my situation, those decisions were actually not productive decisions.
[00:04:26] Those were decisions that really avoided me taking responsibility for having to work through what was important in my life. Instead I was using those distractions as a way of avoiding and being in denial about what wasn't happening in my life.
[00:04:43] Gambling or addiction or to pornography or substance abuse or infidelity. These are all things that we use to sort of somewhat distract and self-medicate and numb what maybe is a painful process that we're trying to avoid. Usually, if you make those decisions and avoid the ones that you need to do, don’t deal with it then things don't work out.
[00:05:05] In my case, they didn't work out until they worked out. I'm a big fan of that saying. Everything works out at the end and if it's not worked out, then it's not the end.
That created disruption in my life. I left my marriage and I sold my business. I moved from one side of Canada to the other side of Canada. I downsized significantly.
I started to do some personal development work. Some more community service and get kind of in touch with who I was and then reinvent myself. I say that as things got unraveled, I was left with this big pile of yarn. I had to knit it into something. I needed it into a new life.
Otherwise it would just be this unraveled thread or yarn and it would be a mess on the floor. That's my journey. Just to have a breakdown and then a breakthrough.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:05:55] Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing your truth. It's not easy to share those kinds of stories and behaviors. That takes a lot of courage.
I celebrate your willingness to do that here. I think people are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. But the lifetime used to be until we reached 60 or 70. Now we have the opportunity to live well past a hundred with God-like technology and the different kinds of health profiles we have today. Particularly if you engage in taking care of what you need to take care of.
I was married very young to my first husband and within 10 years of us being married, he died. I had this sudden wow moment. This could happen at 27 with three little children. What are you going to do now? Then unfortunately, I got to experience unpleasant side of marriage.
What I discovered was:
For me, I certainly went into the professional space wanting to ensure that my daughters had choices and education to live their lives very differently.
I had to come to terms with internal dosing. Using the brains chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol that make you very high performers when you're worried about something. Sometimes, we talk about the external substances and there’s not a lot of awareness around the internal substances our brains can create.
Consequently, as you said it, if you don't face forward and deal, then you continue down to that bottom with destructive behavior. I love what you said it's not the end until ...
Kevin O'Connor: [00:07:44] Everything works out in the end and if it hasn't worked out it's not the end yet.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:07:48] Oh, a lot of wisdom in those words.
Kevin O'Connor: [00:07:51] And then the other one saying that I love. I think it was the Dalai Lama who said that, “pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.”
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:07:57] Another good one.
Kevin O'Connor: [00:07:59] You're presented with these moments in time where there is a great deal of pain and upset and how you deal with that and the choices you make determine whether or not that was a painful moment or painful period of life, or that you're going to continue to suffer through and repeat that with the thought process.
[00:08:19] You were talking about the chemical processes in the body. There's this sort of interesting field is kind of evolving and it's called a physical intelligence, which is understanding of how movement and the body reacts and creates different chemical cocktails in your bloodstream, which will in fact, lead to an experience of a different range of motion.
[00:08:41] We've always known, for example, that an advance of anything kind of stressful, like public speaking. That just stopping and breathing diaphragmatically deeply will reduce our blood pressure and will slow down the respiratory rate and settle us down. They know exactly what chemicals are [00:09:00] released at that time.
[00:09:00] They're the chemicals that you take us more into a relaxed state. As is when we move. I think they've done some studies that suggest that 70% of new ideas and great ideas come usually when a person is in motion. Motion is a great way to activate the brain. They're now understanding that not only is emotional intelligence really important, but body awareness is critically important.
[00:09:24] And it's not like it's a new revelation. It's just understanding that the things that athletes have gone through and grand chess masters, and people who are meditating, tying those things together, for the average person just means really knowing what your body's telling you and being able to make changes in your body and then thus change the emotional state.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:09:47] The complexity of being human and the different intelligences and how they work, like you're heart intelligence of your cellular intelligence. That's a really interesting area. We could probably talk for ages on that.
I'm going to bring you gently back. I'd love to hear about your online dating stories and I'm curious. Did you online date while you were you still married?
Kevin O'Connor: [00:10:09] No. What happened was, and I think this is not atypical. I came out of the marriage and then realized, you know, I had to do some dating after sort out things I had to work through, like self-improvement. I had a 22 year old son and I said, “so how does this work?”
[My son says, “well, you know, there's this app called Tinder.” And I said, “okay, let's do it.” So outcome then, you know, do photos, get the app on my phone and set up my first dating profile. This is like big stuff, you know, I'm in my early fifties at the time. I remember sort of how dating works.
I remember my first match. I was so excited. Somebody matched with me and they wrote hello or something. I said, “all right, we're in conversation.” So I wrote back and later in the day, my son comes over and asks “how's it going?” I'm kind of discouraged. I said, “well, I've got one match. And I wrote them and they never wrote me back.”
My son said, “well, dad, let me see what you wrote.” He's reading and reading and he's reading and he's reading and then he says, “dad, you don't need to write them a letter. You know, Dad, any woman will look at that and go the poor lonely man.”
You know, I had line one. How are you? This is where my life is?
I just thought, you know, it’s like we were sitting in the bus or on the plane and we're going to have a conversation.
He said, “dad, that would have scared that person away completely.” My son explained the purpose of it and gave me a couple of tips. And so I began to kind of dig into this.
Now at the same time I was going to a counseling. I would go out on dates and be on a couple of dating apps and I would go to counseling for that week.
My therapist would say, “so how's it going?” And I said I had a date. After about two or three weeks, he would say, “I don't think you're actually doing your dating.” He said “I think you're doing some sort of research. It’s like you’re back with a new story and a new theory.” He said, “you just may actually be, or called to be able to be really good at this.”
[00:12:10] Here's the remarkable thing. I actually dug into it and spoken to a thousand women over the last six years about their experience in dating. It became my, like, you know, how some people watch Netflix. I'd be like delighted to talk to the woman. I would change my location. Very cathartic and positive experiences for me. I have a large number of friends.
[00:12:36] I became good at it and comfortable with it. I became familiar with what most women and men were experiencing. That has led me into my process now of love launching my online dating coaching program. This first version is going to be for women, alpha feminine women.
My belief is that you can actually use this as a tool. It can be effective if you can integrate it into your dating journey. It's not this scary place that you go and hope that things work out. Not know what's happening. It can be quite intimidating. This program can actually be like a worthwhile tool. That's my philosophy. So again, it comes from me figuring, well, I better learn this stuff. And then I get good at it and digging into it.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:13:27] I started doing the research and decided to do the online series. I noticed there is this lack of conversation skills. I'm not going to respond to messages from different people that say:
Hi, I like your photos.
Like there's no lead into a question, conversation starter. They've probably not read the profile. You're feel like you’re getting hit on. It’s happening so many places. Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, you know, people are messaging. I often wonder if it's, I don't know if I've got my terms right, like cat fishing or scamming?
Kevin O'Connor: [00:13:54] There it is. There's a huge amount of that going in fact, there's an article recently. I think it was, I forget which journal was in, especially through these COVID times how the number of scams, online dating scams. I know I'm very good at picking them out and calling people on them and reporting people, but there's a pattern to them.
[00:14:12] And they're really looking for somebody who's in a place in their life where they're really needing to talk to somebody and they are very good at being able to target those individuals, engaged with them and they'll take their time. They'll take weeks and weeks and weeks. And they'll have very effective ways of being able to avoid actually any voice calls or a FaceTime.
[00:14:33] Then they build rapport individually. At some point they need a little support, a little financial assistance, you know, and then it comes the pitch and they've got. The scammers have dozens of these on the go. And they're moving through these apps, daily, it's their job. If you're in Nigeria and you're scamming somebody in North America, and they're going to send you $2,000, that's a pretty good months early.
[00:14:55] You can sit there all day and just keep working the numbers and pull people in. [00:15:00] But it's quite sad, really.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:15:02] Well, the numbers are huge, I think it was the FTC federal trade commission or something that's like 42 million in its way up since COVID. You know, the isolation is really tough on people.
[00:15:14] That's for sure. So what about some stories about when you were online dating? Did you actually meet people?
Kevin O'Connor: [00:15:20] There's a whole bunch of reasons that we online date. What the first thing I say is that you should really be honest about what's bringing you to an online dating platform. There are things that were, I would call flirtation in the face of boredom.
[00:15:34] Sometimes a person will match up with you in the evening. And really it's as if they're sitting next to you at a bar, they don't have anything to do, having a drink and they strike up a conversation. If you ask them at that moment in time, is this person a really somebody that you're going to ask out that you're going to pursue a relationship?
[00:15:51] If they were really honest, they'd be saying no. I just felt like having a conversation tonight with a stranger. It was really easy to do. So it's what we call the come from. What is [00:16:00] your come from? Why are you online? And what is your goal? What is your intention? And if you, aren't honest about your come from, you know, you're going to end up hurting people's feelings.
[00:16:10] So if your goal as a man, after a divorce and say you're three months, post-divorce is just to get your mojo back and start to feel like you can connect with people. You start having conversations with women and just get to a place where you're feeling just like a little bit more intact and stable. Then you need to be honest about that.
[00:16:27] The person who's there saying I'm ready now to find my Mr. Right. Isn't going to invest all this time. What you're really doing is using that as a way to feel good. You're not acting interested in dating them. You're interested in the endorphins that come from the exchange that, you know, lots of people go out on serial dating.
[00:16:43] Daters many times they go to the date, come home. This is how is your date? This is a great date.
Then someone says, will you see them again? I don't think so. This is particularly the case for men. He said you had a great date. If the guy was truly honest, it was because he was going out and the date [00:17:00] itself made him feel good. He was looking as the date as a therapeutic moment, a moment to heal. He's in pain. He's bored. He's struggling. That exchange, he felt really good. It feels good. He goes home. What a great evening. But he wasn't actually interested in the person. He was interested in the experience and that's using the pattern of the serial dater. The multiple dates of multiple people. Their affirmation, validating, making them feel good, but they're not actually interested in having a relationship beyond that.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:17:31] Yeah, you make a great point. I dipped my toe in the dating pool December, 2019. I discovered that there were men who wanted to come home from work, have their dinner, listen to the news. Then they'd go on the online dating and they'd want to talk to you and it either turned into therapy chat or just the loneliness check-in
[00:17:51] They had someone to speak to, a woman. I came to spot that in New Zealand. I don't know if this happens [00:18:00] elsewhere.
Plus there were young men who were looking to talk to women up to 90 years old. When I asked one chap about it, I mentioned, “I'm not going to date someone your age.”
He says, “Oh no, but you're a great conversationalist.” I asked “Is that why you like women up to 90?” The responses I got were like, “Oh yeah, they've got history. They've got life experience. They want to hear about my day.” And I was like, wow, this is very interesting.
Like I was kind of shocked that young men were, you know, trying to pick me. I was like, this is not a spiritual partner or an equal, you know. I wish you well, but this is not for me.
Kevin O'Connor: [00:18:35] Recognize there's also the other side. There's a sensual or a sexual attraction sometimes between age differences. The 25-30 year old man is really being drawn to the 55, 60 year old woman. We make jokes about it in society like, “Oh, she's a Cougar or a MILF for whatever.” But it is a, that is a, an attraction it's real. And it's a powerful attraction. And it happens both with, uh, young women and older men and younger men and older women.
Then don't forget, there's also the, the sugar rings side, which is the younger man or the younger woman. Who's looking for financial support, a benefactor, somebody who can enter into a mutually beneficial arrangement. There's an exchange. It's a commercial exchange. You provide some financial support. I am devoted and attentive to you.
Either way we're really just emphasizing what the online dating world represents. A myriad of relationship opportunities, just like the real world. And if you don't know what you want and you can't pick up these subtle indications, it is kind of scary and intimidating for people.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:19:42] Great point. Absolutely great point. This happened to me when I was at university in my thirties and during my doctorate in my fifties. I was quite amazed at attracting young men. I have two sons, so I was a little leery of it. Like this, isn't what I'm here to do. You know what I mean? Thank you. I've never had the answer to that in terms of, you know, the young, old switch. It's very interesting.
Kevin O'Connor: [00:20:12] The formative years for people, the imprinting of their sort of sensual and a sexual preferences and desires influences the life choices, the partner choices they made throughout their lives.
We have that moment in adolescent where we're evolving and we're turning from girls to women and from young men to men. And if there is an sensual component and a situational component, and depending on the family dynamic, there's this imprinting that sort of fits into our style of central expression and that's carried through their life and depending on our life situations.
[00:20:44] So the strong, intelligent, maybe overbearing is certainly directive mother. Who's raising a couple of young boy, young man. These men associated with it and then there's, you know, there's, the mother's friends are equally attractive and dynamic. These young 18 year, old 17 year old men are seeing these powerful directive take charge, positive women in their life.
Lo and behold, they become 20, 25 years old and there's a 40 year old woman who's has that kind of energy and they find themselves drawn to them. Now they're not thinking that. They're not associating that with their adolescents. That there was something happening as they were evolving and growing into young men that imprinted, and they took that into their sexual preferences and how they express themselves.
[00:21:29] So that analogy that I use is that online dating is like going to the world's largest amusement park without a map. You go in there and you end up in the wrong section. The museum and park. It's a carnival and there's like the house of horrors or the freak show.
You left wondering, how did I end up here? Well, you just didn't know where you're going and you wandered around and you leave.
Someone says to you, “what was it like in there?” And you said it was [00:22:00] “terrifying. I'm never going back.” And somebody else says, “I met my husband online” and you're like, “how did that happen?” Yeah, he's the sweetest guy we connected.” Your left thinking “We went out and it's like, did you go to the same place that I went to? Cause the place I went to, there was a lot of weirdos.”
Well, usually that could be random and just be a flu. But the people who master this know exactly:
You know, as I'm going to the food court where there's international fare and I'm heading right to there.
I don't need to go on the double Decker Ferris wheel or something like that, I'm going here. So it is what you want it to be and what you make it to be. They're not dating apps by the way, they're just databases. They're just human databases.
They represent a cross section of society. You probably need to learn how to interact and know exactly what your search criteria or harm what it is you need to match up with, because there's no really dating algorithm. I put this in and I met Mr. Perfect. It's just like it's wide open database.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:23:02] I would love to hear your experience of like maybe a good day to strange date.
Kevin O'Connor: Sure, absolutely. Some people really get a feeling for somebody right away. So I'll tell you a situation really early.
[00:23:18] Remember I like to speak on the phone as early as possible. I invited the person I matched up with the dating site. Maybe we should have a quick phone call because I get a feel for someone that way. She said, sure. I can usually tell within 30 seconds on the phone there's chemistry. And I'm like, wow.
[00:23:33] In my mind, I'm thinking nuts. That's pretty quick. Maybe she she's know something. I don't know. She's been doing this really, really well really long time. And she's very good at it. So I called her and she picked up the phone at the same moment. UPS came to my front door and I was like, 10 seconds on the phone.
[00:23:49] I think she’ll say, “Oh, UPS is here. I'm just going to get a package. I'll come right back to you.” No, this is what she said. “I've heard enough. I don't think we're a match.” I was like 15 seconds on the phone. I was like, Wow. I wouldn't have said 10 words. So that was kind of an extreme situation.
I recently was told of a dating story that I think has a number of lessons. This one isn't about me. This is a friend of mine, went on a date. She connected with the gentleman on the Monday. They decided that they would have a phone call.
[00:24:35] He invited her out on the following Friday. Five days later it was a nice sort of cordial conversation. They get off the phones, they set up date time, four o'clock. They were going to go to patio on a rooftop deck and have a drink on a Friday. It was summertime, it was California. She's looking forward to it.
Then he texts that evening. “Hey, that was really great and looking forward to getting together with you.”
The next day more texts until by Wednesday, there've been 20 or so texts. He was very enthusiastic and, uh, called a couple of times. Miscalls like, wow. Her instincts were like, there's something a little, you know, you can be too enthusiastic, just you can't.
[00:25:16] Sometimes he sends a message of urgency or neediness or that you're, there's not enough happening in life. That all of a sudden this person you've talked to for 30 minutes is pivotal in your weekly happiness. She starts to think, “I don't know, maybe I should cancel,” but she said, “no, I'm, I'm going to go through this.”
[00:25:32] She had made a decision to meet him on a park bench, out in front of the restaurant. She's sitting at the park bench and it's four o'clock and someone sits next to her and says, hi. She looks, and there's a resemblance to the man that she's talked to on, but she realized this man is considerably older. Heavier. Doesn't really seem to be the guy in the photos. But yes, it is the guy in the photos. He was clearly using a set of photos that were quite dated. This was where his hair was not quite as salt, pepper and was not as thin. He wasn't the man really that was represented.
She just felt so discouraged because in part, it was like she didn't even want to go and she started to panic. She's not going to have a good time. They went up to the rooftop deck there on the rooftop deck. She excuses herself, going to go to the restroom. She thinks, my friend is downtown near here. Her office is down here. I'm going to text her. So she texts her from the washroom and I think explains it and asks “could you come by here and get me the. You know, save me, cause this is going to be a bad experience.” She sends the texts. Washes up and she looks down at her phone and see if her friend is responding and she notices that she didn't text her friend. She’d texted the man she's on the date with. Now she's in the washroom and knowing she’d just sent the guy a message that it was intended to her friend to get her. The saved me, basically come save me. So she thinks, what are we going to do about this, “am I going to run away?” Um, no, I got to face the music. So she walks out on the patio.
[00:27:07] His back is to her. She walks toward him and she sees, his phone is on the table. Drinks are arriving and she sits down. Then out from under the table, he pulls the phone and he holds it up. He says, “am I that repulsive?” So many emotions came up and she said, “I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.” Then she said, “I'll look after the drinks.” He said, “of course you will.” He got up and walked away.
That story had so many messages. I mean, there's so many layers that it's kind of like, you know, encapsulates kind of the online dating things.
#1. Please make sure your profile represents who you are. No filters, no posts. There is somebody for everybody. Be honest about who you are. He didn't understand when you connect with somebody or if you're in your masculine and you've asked somebody out. The content with the fact that you're going to see somebody in four or five days.
[00:28:07] If you find yourself having this anxiety or this anxious attachment, consider
Reflect on that so he, she will feel good about his initial call, but he was off putting.
Third, her instincts told her “I don't think the fit is there is something not right. I don't think I should waste his time.” She didn't listen to her instincts.
Then the last one was like, you know, you set a date up with somebody you live with that. It wasn't that he was abusive or nasty or mean it's like how to have a honest, frank, discussion about this. It was a wonderful opportunity to say, have a drink and say, you know, I'd love to share something with you. I love to share that.
This feedback has to be taken the right way. Can I give you some feedback? Start with, just a couple of times this week, I felt myself becoming uncomfortable when you were texting me. Also your profile is so different from how you're showing up today that it took the wind right out of me. I just was so caught off guard. Most men will appreciate that kind of honesty. Instead she chose instead to try to get rescued. S
That kind of like a story highlights so many different things about online dating and the opportunities in front of us and you step into them or you. Face the consequences and both felt really bad at the end of that.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:29:26] I'm really glad that you're doing the course. With my background as an attorney, I've had to deal with lots of people angry, sad, bad people. I could get through something like that. Also, I agree with you. He probably would have been a very interesting person to have spent a little bit of time with, but he had already poisoned the pool by not showing up as who he was in the first place online. That triggers trust issues for women. We're vulnerable physically as well as mentally and emotionally. Not more so than anyone else, but those concerns are on any woman's mind going out the door. Am I going to be safe?
More importantly, I've found myself on, what I've actually called therapy chat dates. Once or twice, I've had to say, you're talking about a marriage that dissolved 12 years ago. This time should be spent with a counselor or a professional. I didn't add out loud, “nor am I available to be your counselor,” because you can’t have a personal relationship with your counselor. Secondly, my years of rescuing people are done.
Kevin O'Connor: [00:30:29] A good question around that is like, as we said, “what are your goals for this date?” And, as you said, he starts talking about the relationship. Ask him, “I just want to know what are your, what are your goals for, to like, what'd you have in mind for our chat tonight? And he will probably say, “well, I wanted to get to know you or, you know, I wanted to get out.” Then say, “I'd love to give you some loving feedback, right?” Then you share “If that was your goal, we're going down a different road. Because what I'm hearing that you want to talk a lot about your sadness, the pain, or your marriage, and that doesn't seem to be lined up with what the goal that you set for tonight are now.”
Now there's an opportunity to self-correct. It's always great if someone just gives you a moment early on, in a date, to self-correct. Otherwise you go through the date and you spend your valuable time with each other not connecting. You miss an opportunity to get to know somebody and feedback builds connection.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:31:18] Absolutely. I did a divorce recovery workshop after I got divorced four years before. One of the pieces of wisdom shared suggested, for your every five years married, do not date for a year. Clean up your house, your side of the street. I found that incredibly valuable. It's been four years now. I'm still hesitating and researching, checking and considering.
[00:31:43] As I said, I dipped my toe in and I was feeling like, I'm not equipped to do this. I’ve not got the energy for some of the rubbish and if I can't be kind and respectful, I should not be out on a dating site.
Kevin O'Connor: [00:31:55] As you bring that up. There are two questions that I think every person gets to ask somebody when they're thinking about going on a date with them.
There is obviously going to be a moment where you talk about previous relationship. I think when a woman asks the man the following questions, she's going to get a really good idea if there's something promising in the future or to stay away. And the first question is you were married for 20 some years, but whatever.
Ask, “what part of the breakdown in the marriage do you think you were responsible for?” So you and I both know, and you're a lawyer. So you know that there's no such thing as no fault, like complete links. Everybody played a role now. There could have been infidelity. There could have been disruptive mental health issues.
There could be lots of extenuating circumstances, but at some point there's something that maybe one person could have done differently or done less of or change their approach. That it would have had led to a different outcome, or even a slightly, a slightly different outcome.
If a man can't take responsibility for one element, you know, like could be as simple as I was a workaholic, I worked nonstop building my law practice or my I'm a physician, or I had a small business and I just, I was never home. I realized like, eventually, like I was, was not there. I didn't show up in the marriage. Now she may have made a decision to, uh, have an affair or something like that, and may have been very upsetting, but he recognizes that Pete played that there were some circumstances that he has a controller.
[00:33:27] The first thing is you want someone to be able to say this part was my part. Then here's the, this is the million-dollar question. Since you have such awareness and insight. Can you tell me what you've done in your personal life to ensure that that doesn't repeat itself in your next marriage, your next relationship?
[00:33:46] Can say, this is who I am. This is was my breakdown. That if you're just leading your life, the exact same way. Chances are it's going to replicate itself because you've already accepted responsibility. So accept [00:34:00] responsibility to do that means you make some sort of course correction as well.
If they can't find anything that they think it was their fault. They're probably a narcissist because they, you know, everything's the narcissists, everything's everybody else's fault. And if they do know what they did and they haven't done anything, they're probably not ready yet, or a new relationship because they're not taking on an opportunity.
[00:34:20] To work on the stuff that's interfering with their relationship and is probably interfering with other relationships in their life, their children or something. You know, they have an anger problem. If they work too hard, they have a substance abuse problem. If they are severely addicted and they find that they could have an addiction to gambling. Whatever, there's something that they get to work on that will allow them to feel like they're ready for the next relationship.
Those are the two things that I think are quite helpful.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:34:45] Deep words of wisdom there. I think it's the millionaire matchmaker from years ago. I think I heard her say “past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior.”
If you're going to consciously evolve you look back and, I've certainly done that in terms of being widowed, looked very carefully at 10 year relationship. I valued so much that he did well and realized I was so young and didn't appreciate what I had.
The gift for me was that I had such a quality marriage, but I didn't know because I came out of a very dysfunctional, violent childhood. I didn't see happily married people in my household. You know, I struggled with things like feeling bored because there was no crisis going on and things like that.
[00:35:34] A lot of Michelle's secret thoughts here, but then in my marriage, which was affected by addiction, alcoholism streams through my family tree. Consequently, that was normal for me. Coming out of widowhood, I flipped from a very good relationship into the most unhealthiest I could find, because that was my normal.
I knew how to play those games and survive and thrive. That only goes so far, but I now know at this stage of my life is if someone's not going to evolve or consciously show up, they're not going. More importantly, we're not going to suit because I am going to be such an irritant. And I'm also not going to value somebody who will recede back into adolescence.
My life is too precious and my body's a temple. I'm not willing to put myself in dangerous situations, emotionally, physically, spiritually, or mentally. Now, I’m more discerning of the choices around who I have involved in my life and how they're involved.
Kevin O'Connor: [00:36:40] Let's dissect a couple of the words that you use. Evolve, your male listers now going, like, what does that mean when a woman says evolves?
I want to offer what I call practical masculinity. Here's a couple of things. Number one a man can get with the program and sort of be able to relate to that kind of language. It's called good manners, you know. In the beginning, good manners were created so that you could save somebody from having the pot water thrown out over them on the street below. You had to choose which side of the street to walk down or the whatever was splashing up on her dress. People who created manners were brilliant.
[00:37:27] For men to be present and mindful of their partner, you can't have good manners and be oblivious and not present of your partner. So if we thought about some of the good manners that are out there, like, you know, when you are partner needs to excuse herself from the restaurant to go to the restroom, you get up.
[00:37:46] When she comes back, you stand up, you take their chair out and if you have that as one of your manners, you can't ignore them.
Being on your phone when she comes back and not know that they've come or gone, or if you are opening, if you open somebody's door for them. Well, then clearly you are present, you're aware of where they are physically next to you.
If someone says like, “I don't really know what that means to sort of be present?” I say, “learn to exhibit really good manners. And you will be present. You'll be mindful.”
You'll be engaged because you take a little responsibility, look at this menu and make some suggestions or engage or talk about the food.
Well, you're not going to be able to watch the TV on the wall. So manners are like a brilliant way. If you have good manners to be able to be mindful and present and connected to your partner. If that's all you do, like when you're the you're walking in the mall and your partner has bought something, [00:39:00] you grabbed the bag and you carry it.
[00:39:01] These are all things that are just good things to do. You walk beside them,. You know that if you're going to go through the door, you open the door. If you're going into a dark place, you enter first, like there's probably only about 15 things. If you did that, your partner is going to be like, wow, like I'm hanging out with somebody who just knows what's going on in my life.
You could still be thinking and somewhat distracted a little bit. You may not get it perfect, but you're certainly going to do better than somebody saying like, Oh, we're good. We have an equal relationship was, is opening the door, closing the door over, gets there. First is like, you can do that. Or you can take responsibility for doing something and see the brief results with your partner.
[00:39:41] Does that make sense to you?
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:39:43] Absolutely. In my book, manners maketh the man. I have three grandsons and two sons believe you me. I'm very sensitive as to whether they have good manners around females
Importantly, you mentioned phones and there's a new word out called phubbing, [00:40:00] basically to be on your phone means you are phubbing the people who are around you.
[00:40:03] I find that so disrespectful. My man meter drops dramatically. If I've made the time to be with you and my phone is put away and you need to be on your phone. I clearly do not need to be here.
I have another one and it's probably peculiar to me. I really appreciate a man who knows how to dress smartly. He wears a pair of dress shoes that are shined. I'm not sure men know how to do that anymore.
Kevin O'Connor: [00:40:35] So I'm going to go with both of these cause there good. There great.
When people don't get the phone thing, I say, imagine this, you put your phone down and I'm going to give everybody here a paperback book.
[00:40:47] We're all going to go to the restaurant and then you pull out your book and you start reading. How would that feel? Although it would seem so weird. Like we're all sitting there. We went out to dinner and your book comes out and you start leafing through the [00:41:00] book and reading your story. I said, would that seem a little odd, but that's the really?
[00:41:05] That would be weird. Like looking over that family, everybody's reading a book over dinner. It would seem so weird.
That's what you're doing on your phone. You're choosing an external stimulation rather than engaging with people.
Also the other one that drives me crazy, which is along these lines is like the bank of televisions. I'm slightly ADD, when things flash I look at them. That's the intention of those things. Now, when I was younger there were the TV, maybe it was in the corner of a bar or something, but now wherever you looked it's like you could see something, see something.
[00:41:46] People are not aware that the reason they're up there is that they're designed to capture your attention so that ultimately you can purchase something, there's an [00:42:00] arousal addiction happening. They need your time and energy in order for you to buy something and consume something people need to pay attention to.
[00:42:08] That's all about capturing your attention. Cause that's what they want. They want to own your attention because when they own your attention, they ultimately will own it, be a commercial transaction. But people are thinking that it's entertainment. It is. They've got you thinking that way, but really what it is they want is to pulled you in and captured something that's very special. That's your attention? And they've taken it away from the important people in your life.
There are all sorts of, they call them excitement, engineers, people who come from the gambling world and are now working in social media and they're designing interfaces and stimulation to get you away from what you're doing and get you on the phone because that's when they have you, when people are distracted they make other decisions.
When you can sit with your family, eating dinner and enjoying your dinner. That's a novel concept now.
It's interesting because I've heard that a number of times I've even seen it in people's profiles that a nice pair of shoes shined up. The woman will notice that. I don't think most men would know that. Would someone even know if it's a leather shoe or a leather sole. I think most men are kind of oblivious about. So keep promoting that.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:43:29] Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one out there.
I'd love to, for you to share with my audience about the work that you do and the programs that you have.
Kevin O'Connor: [00:43:38] Absolutely. Well, the one that I'm most excited about is called the dating recipe. The first version is for women. I'll do one for men as well soon. It's really about helping people set themselves up for success in online dating. A four week course with an hour and a half zoom call once a week for a small group of 10 to 20 women. My demographic is usually the middle years. People who are wanting to find somebody that they can spend some time with and really don't want to randomly, you know, get online and experience rejection or being ghosted or, you know, having somebody speak to them in a way that is offensive. They want to take control of that process.
And it's a fun process. We'll do profiles. We talk about love languages and non-negotiables. What are you wanting, talking about? Good dating, online dating habits. Just basically some mastery, cooking up your own recipe. You can actually access that by learning more about it, by going to my website, which is practicalmasculinity.net There's a section called the dating recipe. This is going to be a fun group. We're really essentially going to craft this for future success.
I'm really welcoming people in who are wanting to dig in and have fun and give me feedback. I love feedback.
My coaching, I do that online. Like most people do through COVID. I love to have followers and love to have people engage with me on my Instagram. I'm passionate about helping people avoid going through some of the things I went through. Getting to where I'm at faster, maybe 10 years, 15 years earlier. I'm in a great place by, life. We can get where we can a little faster, a little less suffering.
Michelle St Jane: [00:45:45] You certainly can fill the niche because I think what you're offering is most definitely needed and being able to do it in a closed group with the consummate coach. What a wonderful idea. Thank you for being here, Kevin.
Kevin O'Connor: [00:45:58] My pleasure and I loved the discussion and it's great to talk to somebody who's in a similar place in her life and sort of finding her way through her second life. Maybe in your case, it's your third line?
Outro: [00:46:17] Dr. Michelle St Jane is a conscious steward of meaningful leadership in the world and the wider cosmos. Tune in every Thursday for real talk around life leadership and your conscious journey. Be ready to create and cultivate your dreams and wholehearted desires. Your support is valued. Please follow, subscribe, leave a review and a rating. More importantly, share with your connections.
Relationship Guide and Dating Wiz
Relationship Guide and Dating Wiz, Kevin O’Connor joins me in conversation around a conscious journey into relationships. Kevin is an intuitive, connected, powerful and masculine life coach helping people to be a better version of themselves and have a happier and more fulfilled life.