FIVE QUESTIONS FOR CUPID: Q&A WITH THERAPIST AND DATING COACH LISA HAWKINS
Having walked the walk herself, this coach helps singles find healthy relationships by developing consciously aware self-love
Each month, The Vibe picks the professional brains of dating and relationship coaches – the real-life Cupids who are passionate about helping singles navigate the sometimes challenging landscape of love and dating.
This February, we had the pleasure of chatting with certified cognitive behavioral therapist, life coach, dating/relationship coach, and emotional guide Lisa Hawkins of Consciously Awake Counseling. Lisa has been researching relationships for three decades, and she empowers her clients to thrive in love by remaining consciously aware and communicative of their wants and needs. Healthy relationships start with a healthy sense of self-love, and Lisa helps singles pave a path toward both.
We thank Lisa for sharing her expertise with us, and we hope all of our readers find her advice as insightful as we have.
What inspired you to become a dating and relationship coach?
Understanding relationships is a passion of mine. I’ve been researching relationships for 30 years. I’ve been certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for 20+ years; I owned a speed-dating service called Conscious Dating in 2002-2003; and I’m certified in life coaching, relationship conflict management, and emotional intelligence.
It’s been a personal journey as well as a professional one, as I myself had to come to terms with why I used to end up in toxic relationships.
My work is about conscious communication and creating a relationship that, with practice, becomes easier and more passionate. Throughout my 30 years of research, experience, and education, my inner journey has helped me develop an understanding of and compassion for others. I honestly have been there. I understand the depth of pain people suffer because of a lack of self-love and understanding, and a lack of knowing how to navigate relationships.
Describe your average client. Who are they and why do they seek out a dating coach?
My average clients are men and women, ages 30 through 60, who are committed to personal growth and who want to have fulfilling relationships. Usually they have read books, taken webinars, and listened to podcasts, yet still there is something missing. Something they can’t quite figure out.
Some of my clients are going to therapy and would like help fill the gaps between therapy healing and implementing a new life with new opportunities.
In your opinion, what is the top dating challenge facing singles today?
The top dating challenge singles face today is confusion about how to navigate online dating and in-person dating, how to know if someone is truly compatible, and how to bring a relationship full circle.
We’ve lost some of our dating skills since the pandemic. Everything was virtual. I help men and women vet potential partners and understand themselves so they can communicate clearly what their desires are.
Do dating apps actually work?
Online dating is just a different way of dating, and we are still getting to know what that means for singles overall. Often, there is a misconception that it is a fool-proof way to filter through more people. It is a great option, but there are still challenges in vetting a partner. Additionally, sometimes too many options can be overwhelming, and often people expect too much from online dating.
Still, if a single person is savvy enough and can find signs of incompatibility early on, online dating is fantastic. It actually offers more information about a date than you usually learn when you meet in person. It’s a vehicle for finding true love, but it comes with responsibility.
I think that Couple online speed dating addresses many of these issues, and it’s a fantastic way to connect in real time with many potential partners.
What’s one piece of dating advice you’d offer to all singles?
My advice is to express your intent with partners early on. Be clear of boundaries and stick to them. Often, we are afraid of losing someone if we communicate consciously – and we may – but being candid means we’ll know sooner if they are not a match.
Don’t be afraid to ask for exclusivity and/or non-exclusivity. Be clear. If you want long-term or casual, let them know so you can move on sooner. You don’t have to become a couple with the first person you are attracted to. There is no shame in testing the waters. This is how you find true love.
Any other dating insight you’d like to share?
Relationships don’t have to be hard. There are tools that can help you navigate your relationship easier. Like anything else, you have to implement them. Once you have a new way of relating to your partner, it gets easier. That journey begins with curiosity.
If you’re looking for coaching and support in your love life, you can schedule a consultation with Lisa at Consciously Awake Counseling. Also, check her out on Instagram and Facebook.