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An Interview with Tricia Wolanin – Dating Experts Month

Tell us about yourself. What makes you a dating/relationship expert?

I am a clinical psychologist, author, consultant, and yoga instructor who has been working in the field for over 15 years with a variety of populations throughout America.  I have walked with people along their journeys of dating, marriage, divorce, and re-entering the dating world. I have co-facilitated numerous marital retreats with my colleague Mark Killin, in my primary position working with special operations overseas.

How does your approach differ from other experts?

With regards to marriage and relationships, I primarily utilize evidenced based work from Dr. John and Julie Gottman.  These principles are extremely effective in strengthening relationships. I also tend to incorporate the importance of mindfulness, presence, and play into the work I do.

What are some of the biggest challenges/frustrations you see from the people you work with?

Some of the biggest challenges I see is individuals being able to connect with partners who want the same thing as them.  People have no problem finding sex partners or flings on apps like Tinder, but for some who want actual relationships they have difficulty meeting others who want the same thing.  Another challenge I see is people who have been hurt too many times and lost hope of finding anyone again, particularly when their ex is now in a committed relationship. They carry the weight of the past with them.

Member submitted questions

I’m 49, female and recently divorced. I met my husband when I was a teenager so I’ve never really done the whole dating thing. Where do I start?

– Catherine, 49

Know that you are not alone in reconnecting this dating world.  Sadly divorce rates are high, and numerous other people are in the same situation you are in.  Start where you are. Ensure that you have taken time to grieve the relationship. Talk to friends who are in similar situations.  Have fun. Do not always expect the next person you will date will be the new one. Now is the time to explore and really figure out what it is you want in a person, and who you have developed to be right now. Your needs and desires as a teenager has definitely shifted, explore you now.

Along with this the book I tend to gift to people the most is In the Meantime by Iyanla Vanzant.  She reminds us that we always think the people are with should be the “one.” But maybe they are the one for right now.  If we do not take the time to grow and learn lessons from these relationships, we are doomed to make the same mistakes and attract the same type of person again and again.

Tell us about some of the projects/books/events you’re currently working on/just completed

I recently completed a book entitled The Fragrance of Wanderlust: How to capture the essence of travel in our everyday lives.  It’s a 40 day mindful staycation project. We are our best selves when we travel, this book explores how to take the doppleganger traveler within and bring it home.  Om is available to all of us. I hope to lead some upcoming retreats in the future too.

Do you find any patterns with respect to what women are attracted to? What are the main things women are looking for in a man?

Women are attracted to confident men.  They want to feel wooed and desired. Although they want someone who is hard working, they want to know that this person will make them a priority in their life.

Do you find any patterns with respect to what men are attracted to? What are the main things men are looking for in a woman?

Men want to feel they are appreciated and respected.  They want someone they are physically attracted to but also someone that can be their best friend, share similar values, and have sexual chemistry with.

Member submitted questions

I’ve recently started an age-gap relationship with a woman who’s 15 years older than me. I haven’t told anyone about us yet and she’s getting annoyed, almost like I’m ashamed of her. I really like her but I just don’t know how my friends and family will react. What should I do?

– Marv, 30

I would explore what arises for you when this question is brought up?  Are you offended or are you ashamed? If you enjoy being around this person, why should it matter how others react?  You are the one in the relationship. If you feel their influence is going to continue to impact you, explore if this is the right person for you at this time.  We should never hide our partner. They deserve the right to shine, if not with you than with someone else who would be honored to have them on their arm.

How can people connect with you on social? 

Facebook: Tricia Wolanin

Finally, what’s the one piece of advice you hold close to your heart?  

I read a book once which encouraged women to be their own knight in shining armor.  Do not search for someone else to fill this role. When we shift the focus and let go, sometimes this is when what we desire will arrive.

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