First Date Catch

bad dateDear Coach Chris,

How do I get over my first date awkwardness?  I have had several first dates but never a second date.  I don’t know what I am doing wrong. I am usually very nervous and self-conscious.  I try to over prepare so I can be ready for anything. I know first impressions are important, so I always try to show my date I am a great catch. I always show-up cleaned-up, use my best cologne and arrive with flowers. I make reservations at the best restaurant in town. Most of the time I feel like the date was a good time but when I ask for a second date is ends up with a no.  I feel very rejected and defeated.  This has affected my confidence and I am now afraid to ask another person out for a date.  Should I just give up dating all together?  Help!!!



Dear Awkward Andy,

I understand the awkwardness of trying to impress a first date. When you place an uncontrollable expectation on a date, it will always create doubt and nervousness.  I believe first dates should be simple and easy. This may help with the nerves and confidence. When you go all out for the first date what is left for any future dates?  The first date should be about learning who the other person is.  You can also be the “great” catch by showing interest in your date through conversation.  Many people love talking about themselves.  Prepare some casual questions you want to know about your date and let them talk.  This usually can generate questions from your date, giving you the opportunity to reveal who you are. Avoid dominating the conversation.

So, keeping it simple can open up the opportunity to see if you are compatible with your date.  I suggest a coffee shop, a drink in a quiet bar, or somewhere you can have a casual conversation.  Based on relationship data you will have instant attraction or no attraction in a matter of 15 minutes. Don’t try to force the attraction. A simple initial meeting for a drink will not only save you money but also time.  If you find the initial meeting evolves into wanting to spend more time together, you can suggest an activity - a walk, bowling or something of interest you both have agreed upon.  This can progress to dinner or making plans for another date.

Finding the right person to spend time with is a journey in itself.  Keep dating and meeting as many people as you can.  The "no" to a second date is usually a gift because in the long run it was not meant to be more.  The key is to get to know them before you jump in ready to give your money, time and all of you.

You got this!!!

Good Luck,

Coach Chris

p.s. maybe tone down the cologne?

A Loss for Words

third eyeDear Coach Chris,

My girlfriend and I have been together about a year and I feel like we can talk about almost everything.  I truly care about her and want to possibly have a life-long relationship.  We have a lot in common and get along great MOST of the time except when the word LOVE comes up.  When she first said the words, I love you, I felt a weird, sinking feeling inside.  I couldn’t respond with the same, I love you.  I smiled, kissed her and said thank you. I care deeply for her and feel guilty about the struggle I have saying the words “I love you” back.  She has asked me if I love her, and I just respond with a yes.

I know once I say those words the meaning comes packed with promises and commitments.  Which I think I am ready to accept. Unfortunately, I am still carrying the damage of my past relationship where I was the first one who said the words.  My belief when I said “I love you” to my ex, I had an expectation she was ready to make a long-term commitment to the relationship.  The pain of that break-up still haunts me.

What if once I say the words “I love you” back to my girlfriend and the relationship falls apart? I'm afraid of being devastated again.  If I tell my girlfriend about my struggle it might create doubt about our relationship. What should I do?  I am at a loss for words.


Lost for Words

Dear Lost for Words,

What if she doesn’t commit to a long-term relationship?

What if she DOES keep her promises and commitments?

What if she turns purple and grows a third eye?

You can’t live on the "what ifs" because "what ifs" are infinite.

So, you said you and your girlfriend can talk about almost everything.  I suggest having a conversation about the “I love you” words with her.  You may find the result may create more of a connection between you and your girlfriend. The conversation may help you move forward.  You will both learn what "I love you" means to each other.

I agree when the special words “I love you” are said in a relationship they should be real and used with care from the heart because the impact can be interpreted many different ways.  Your interpretation is a good one, to keep promises and commitments.  I hope you are currently showing your girlfriend this is who you are and not letting the past hold the good person in you back.

Communication is always key,

Coach Chris

She washed me out of her hair

shampooDear Coach Chris,

We have been dating for about 6 months and I spend a lot of nights at her place.  I usually shower there before I go to work.  I noticed there were two kinds of shampoo bottles, one had my name written with waterproof magic marker.  I thought this was weird. Because shampoo is just shampoo, right? Why did she have to designate a specific one just for me.  I asked her and she said her shampoo is special and asked me not to use her shampoo.  I wasn’t satisfied with her explanation and didn’t want to start an argument about shampoo is just shampoo.  I did a little research on the internet and discovered she paid $50 for her special shampoo.  I was shocked.  I decided to help her save some money and show her shampoo is just shampoo.  I bought a much cheaper brand that was the same color and poured out her $50 shampoo and replaced it with the cheaper brand.

A few days later I complimented how pretty her hair looked and she replied the special shampoo was working.  I couldn’t help myself but had to tell her she had been using the cheaper shampoo and got the same results.  I also told her she would be saving $45 by using the cheaper shampoo.

She was outraged and stopped talking to me.  I have not been invited to stay overnight for weeks and she does not answer my calls or texts.  After being persistent she finally returned my calls.  She simply stated our relationship would not work.  She felt she could not trust what I might do next and was offended because I was trying to make her appear stupid for buying a shampoo she chose.

Really!!!  Was I wrong trying to show her she could save money?  Shampoo is just shampoo. Right?



Dear Sham-pooed,

I believe trying to prove your point this way was sneaky and offensive.  Your intention may have been good but the way you chose to prove your point was not a good.  I assume your ex-girlfriend purchased the shampoo with her own money and probably did her research on why she felt the $50 shampoo would help her.   I recommend the next time ask questions before you think you are doing a good deed based on your assumptions.  Also, research on more than just the price of shampoo you might find there is a big difference in quality.  Looks like the $5 shampoo didn’t deliver the happy, bouncy results you were looking for.

Wishing you a happy, healthy future,

Coach Chris


Dear Coach Chris,
My partner had a painful in-grown toenail.  After some internet research it recommended to soak the foot in warm water to soften the nail then cut as much of the toenail as possible.  When I came home from work my partners foot was leisurely soaking in my favorite crockpot.  I went crazy.  My best crockpot has been contaminated and useless.  My partner told me my rage was not justified and I could easily clean the crock pot with soap and water.  I think the only solution is to throw the crockpot in the garbage.  I know every time I want to use the crockpot I will see a foot with an in-grown toenail soaking with my pot roast.  Am I justified in my craziness? Now I am having mixed feelings about throwing my favorite crockpot in the garbage.



Dear Grossed-out,
It appears your imagination has over-ridden any level-headed reason.  The crockpot is an innocent bystander and doesn't deserve to be thrown away.  A simple solution is a good scrubbing with any disinfectant you choose (soap and water will also work).  This should sanitize the crockpot.  Maybe next time when you provide a solution for another in-grown toenail for your partner also provide a foot soaker tub and label it with your partners name.  Eliminating any confusion in the future.

Happy Crockpot Cooking,

Coach Chris

How do you love me?

How do you love me?  Let me count the ways…

For many of us part of our journey through life is finding THAT person.  Sometimes we make a list of qualities both physical and character.  The physical attraction is usually the first test.  Maybe it is a smile, a certain look, the list can be exhaustive.  The visual appearance can sometimes tell us a story, mostly one we are creating, not necessarily the whole truth about the person.

The character is more challenging.  We first judge the other persons character based on our values.  So sometimes this can create acceptance, non-acceptance or intrigue.  Knowing who we are should really be the basis of who we choose to be in our life.  I recommend starting with a self-analysis before you make a permanent or temporary decision of who your partner should be.

One of the suggested places to start is taking the 5 love languages quiz (  The quiz can reveal what language you need and want in your relationships.  We all have specific needs that help us feel content and fulfilled in our relationships.

The book “The 5 love languages,” written by Dr Gary Chapman, lists the 5 languages most of us need to add to a successful relationship.

They are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical Touch, Acts of Service and Receiving Gifts.

One of these normally resonates for each of us.  For me it is acts of service.  I love it when someone does something for me without me asking.  The gratitude and appreciation within me creates a feeling of being special to that person.

Dr. Chapman emphasizes the critical importance that you should know what your love language is as well as your partners.  He correlates the process of providing the important love language for your partner to adding money into a bank account.  When you are not providing your partner with their love language the bank account can be operating in a deficit which can create discord and discontent.

A true partnership has to include open transparent communication.  You should want to know what makes your partner feel loved by you, and of course your partner should want to know what you need to make you feel loved by them.

Words of Affirmation Expressing affection with a compliment, empathy, encouragement, or appreciation. Write your partner a love letter, tell them you love them and appreciate them, text an encouraging message, accept responsibility and tell your partner you are sorry when you make a mistake

Quality Time  Expressing affection with undivided undistracted attention. Our lives can be very busy and we do get caught-up with the hustle of work and life balance.  Your partner wants to feel they are also a priority in your life.  Creating time in your busy schedule is critical to show your partner they are important to you.  Possibly a board game or some playing cards, date night, take a walk together or go to bed at the same time.

Physical Touch  Expressing love through physical touch. A meaningful hug, cuddling, a kiss goodbye or hello, holding your partners hand are easy ways to let your partner feel they are loved and wanted.

Acts of Service  Action rather than words are used to show and receive love. Doing something to “help out”, usually makes life a little easier for your partner. Be it a routine task or something extra makes your partner feel seen and less overwhelmed.

Receiving Gifts  The act of giving a gift. Giving a thoughtful gift is symbolic of love and affection. The gift can be as simple as giving them their favorite treat.

Communicate how you want to feel loved.  And ask your partner how they want to feel loved. If you are both adding to each other’s love language bank account, your relationship can be fulfilling and successful.