Today I have a pleasure to introduce Samantha Sinclair, the winner of the Top Dating Coach in San Francisco contest sponsored by Wingman Magazine in February 2015.
Samantha Sinclair is an experienced dating advisor, NLP Master, Coach, and Clinical Hypnotherapist. She holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness and is a founder of Mapping Love, a website and coaching service that “supports your journey from me to we.” Samantha has developed her unique method of relationship coaching combined with an education in partnership, human sexuality, and consciousness to help people to find true love. She is the author of the book, “7 Keys to Choosing a Mate,” which is available for free download from her website, Mappinglove.com.
Sam, welcome, and congratulations on getting the most votes in our contest!
You’ve devoted your life to study of love and to helping singles navigate the dating scene. Do you think it’s possible for absolutely everyone to find true love?
Wholeheartedly! The truest love begins within, as self-compassion, self-forgiveness, self-understanding, self-awareness, and self-kindness. A healthy relationship with others evolves out of a healthy relationship with ourselves. When we do not love ourselves wholly, we disown shadowy parts as not good enough to show others, and become fractured within. It amounts to basic math: 1/2 times a 1/2 equals a fourth. You need two whole people to forge a healthy loving partnership.
You have a wide knowledge base in philosophy and cosmology; what is your universal definition of love?
Love is both a ground of being and a behavior. When you love freely without expecting anything in return, that is true love. I find M. Scott Peck’s definition of love seems to be the most evolved and I draw from it in my work, “Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth… Love is as love does. Love is an act of will — namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.”
What do you consider the greatest obstacle holding people back from finding true love?
Most people spend the majority of their time seeking the perfect person they hope will make them happy. Often they don’t have a clue how to actually love someone because they don’t know how to love themselves. You have to learn how to be the love you wish to attract and stop seeking. Love will find YOU.
People seeking love when they don’t love themselves are deficit spending. They will come across as off balance to a healthy person and end up with another off balance person which will likely prove to be a dysfunctional relationship. Most people don’t want to do the self-love work first. Once people are coming from a place of love, they will be able to give love in a balanced, sustainable way. Love is generative. Love attracts love.
In your experience as a dating coach, what was your greatest challenge?
Helping folks to choose a partner consciously versus on the basis of chemistry can sometimes be a challenge. Chemistry alone is not enough to sustain a relationship. Animal brain will choose chemistry over compatibility every time and that’s why we have 7 billion people on the planet! It’s effective for procreation, but not for sustaining a healthy relationship.
Yes you can have both chemistry AND compatibility. Research from interviews of long term happily married couples suggests that they were not romantically attracted to each other when they first met. Instant chemistry is a red flag; proceed with caution. Attraction is a slow burn that is stoked by compatibility. Chemistry will simmer into a roaring blaze over time based on mutual respect and compatibility.
How do your NLP and hypnotherapy skills help your clients overcome their dating and relationship problems?
I use NLP to help clients shift limiting beliefs about themselves and their potential so they can create a compelling future and attract a compatible partner. I also use NLP to help folks develop communication skills so that they can consciously build rapport whether on a date, in their business, or with friends and family. I also use hypnotherapy when my client needs to heal old emotional wounds that are holding them back.
In Wingman Magazine, we advocate alternative treatment methods (including NLP and hypnosis) to help people to improve their sex lives. Do you believe that most of problems related to human sexuality start and end with the power of our minds?
Yes with one tweak: that our minds and bodies are not actually separate. Neurons run throughout our body so we are really bodyminds, not a brain in a meat suit. NLP and hypnotherapy can be helpful for reprogramming the automatic mind when it limits our choices and self-expression.
Having great sex depends on having great communication skills so that you can articulate what you need from your partner. I’m currently finishing tantric yoga certification which I think will be the next sexual frontier for Westerners and am looking forward to adding this to my coaching practice. In our instant gratification culture, we have lost the art of slow, sacred sex which is so important for creating a deep connection with our partner.
You mention the impact of your parents’ divorce on your development. What is the best way to overcome the negative influences of this trauma and avoid repeating these behavioral patterns as an adult?
I don’t think that divorce is necessarily traumatizing for a child. You can’t change what happened to you in the past, but you can change how you respond to it in the present. You can change the story you tell yourself about it. And this helps to shift us out of a victim perspective. If we don’t heal our childhood wounds, they will continue to resurface and hold us back.
Many guys really struggle to commit to a relationship. Does this mean that some people just aren’t meant to be monogamous?
Many women struggle to commit to a relationship as well. Commitment is frightening for many people regardless of their gender. Just because we struggle with something does not mean that we are not meant to do it. The struggle can be part of our growth curve.
On the other hand, not everyone is meant to be monogamous. I coach people to get crystal clear on what kind of relationship they want to create and then go for it. Maybe they want to be in a polyamorous relationship, or maybe they want a companionate sexual friendship. One size of relationship does not fit all. Struggle is going to show up no matter what new challenge we are trying to overcome, so we can’t let it stop us.
As our society evolves and our technology advances, how does this affect our love relationships?
Society does not advance just because it becomes more complex, so we have to be mindFULL not mindless in consciously creating a society worth fully participating in. And that means finding a living breathing technology free community with actual humans in close proximity to one another with whom to engage from time to time. Social media does not fulfil our need for intimacy.
If used with discipline, technology can help to connect us, but otherwise it can be isolating. The internet provides access to virtually limitless data, however humans have limited energy. We have to set boundaries so that technology does not take over our lives.
How have new easy-to-use dating applications like Tinder changed dating etiquette?
Tinder can be a great tool to meet a lot of people quickly. Users see only a photo, which makes it compelling, especially when with a group of friends who weigh in on who is hot enough to swipe. It dispels the myth that women are not as “visual” or interested in looks as men. Sometimes people don’t present well in a photo, so Tinder fails to provide a real assessment of attraction and compatibility. If you desire a long term committed partnership, I would advise being strategic about how you use Tinder, if you use it at all.
If you could give just one simple piece of advice about love and relationships to our Wingman Magazine audience, what would it be?
Don’t wait to find a relationship to live a romantic, fulfilling life. Create the dream life you have always wanted now and live passionately. Your joie de vivre will be the light that draws love to you.
Love is generative. Love attracts love.