I’m 8 years old and I live in a beautiful white, spacious, 3-story beach-house across from the ocean in Silver Strand Beach, California. I have 2 wonderful older brothers, a mom and dad whom I love, and a close circle of family friends. My parents have always put us in the best private Catholic schools and took us to Church every Sunday followed by dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.
We would spend weekends out on my dad’s boat, sailing to Catalina and the surrounding islands frequently, BBQ-ing while listening to my dad’s favorite tunes of Natalie Cole or The Doors (probably where I get my random taste in music from)….
My young and always vibrant mother makes a home-cooked meal every night, we take vacations to Hawaii and our lake house every year, and life is good! As far as I know, I don’t see anything wrong with my life or family, aside from some occasional fighting between my mom and dad and the bickering and wrestling matches with my brothers and I (they did a great job of toughening me up!).
And then one day in the Summer, my dad takes a little trip for himself to Miami Florida, which is where he attended college and visits old friends there occasionally. For some reason he decided to take this trip by himself, but us kids didn’t think much of it at the time.
But then a few days later some really strange things started happening. One day while my father was gone, my mother suddenly invited her brother, my uncle, and some of her friends over to our house.
They started quickly and quietly cleaning out the house – and moving all of our furniture out. They were quiet and somber and didn’t offer us much explanation. I had no idea what was going on, but my brothers and I just watched as our big white house, formerly filled with our cozy furnishings, warmth and family memories rapidly grew more and more vacant and filled with cold air…
Within a few hours, our entire home was cleared out. You could hear our voices echo again through the high vaulted ceilings of the now empty house.
My mother didn’t say much to us, but just gabbed our hands and told us flatly that we had to leave, and that she would explain later. So we went with her. She drove us an hour in silence to our next destination, which turned out to be our grandparents house. They greeted us with loving arms and took us inside, and my brothers and I, my uncle , grandparents and my mom all sat around the living room together in silence…
Then my mother finally spoke, and she said the words that would change my life forever: “Guys… I have to tell you something… Your father is no longer going to be living with us anymore.”
What?? My jaw dropped in shock as tears started welling up in my eyes.
And then came the words that no child wants to hear:
“I’m sorry… Your Dad and I are getting a divorce.”
And that was the day my life turned around.
The loving, complete family that I had and my life as I knew it was gone in one day!
My reality was no longer the same. Just like that, I went from having beautiful family holidays and Christmas’s with loads of presents under the tree, an excited mother cooking breakfast and a dad videotaping every special moment, to spending holidays in a divided home split up from my parents, alternating every other holiday with a different parent or having to painfully choose between them, being hours away from the other, and having a much quieter and emptier holiday.
I went from seeing my father every day and having dinner with him, to seeing him only a few times a year and living on opposite sides of the state.
Only 1 year later, my mother met someone new and remarried him. And again our life was shifted.
My brothers and I got uprooted from Los Angeles where we were born and raised, to Northern California where this new man that I was suddenly now supposed to call my Step-father lived, away from my father and all our family and friends that we grew up with.
But, we yet again managed to make the best of the situation and gradually adapted to this sudden new reality.
But then, after only a few years, just as we started finally coming around to this new life and step-father, the unthinkable happened again, believe it or not…
They started arguing… They started having problems…. The problems started getting worse… And they soon separated… And within 5 years, there I was, having to go through another divorce, all over again.
I found myself having deja vu with the same situation; only this time, I’m a little older and have a slightly thicker skin. I’ve got a little armor on now.; )
Many children in the same situation wind up going down the wrong path and living a pretty rocky life… But aside from some occasional teenage rebelliousness, I decided that I would NOT live my life as a victim of some sad circumstances. I would not be some troubled kid who people felt sorry for. I was determined to make something great out of myself.
I started seeing my life as an opportunity instead, and my purpose here became more and more clear.
And fast-forward to the present, here I am now today. Without proceeding to continue through my entire life story (that’s for my book!), I ultimately turned out okay obviously, with maybe some light war wounds and minimal scratches, I am complete with all the happenings, twists and turns in my life. This aint’ no sob story. I was fortunate enough to have parents and a family that, despite the circumstances, were always very loving and supportive of me and raised me well, and so I made it through the woods pretty healthy and happy. I’ve gotten completion with my parents and the divorces years ago and I don’t hold any resentment towards them or any of the events in my life, because they’ve made me a lot stronger and wiser of a person and being the eternal optimist that I am, managed to turn the events of my life into something very positive.
For a long time while growing up through these divorces and all the negative ripple effects that came along with them, I had a lot of underlying feelings of guilt and responsibility in my parents’ divorce; I used to always feel like their marriage could have somehow been saved – I felt like if they just tried harder, went to therapy, communicated better, or explored different solutions then they could have solved their issues and prevented their divorce.
And even at a very young age I always had a strong sense of personal power and a gift for communicating and mediating. So as a little girl I was haunted a lot by regret, thinking that if I was just more aware of the problems that were going on between my parents at the time, if I maybe stepped in more and had better tools and knowledge of relationships at that time, I could have somehow ‘saved’ them and kept them together, happily married and continued our lives as a whole and complete family. Sometimes I would fantasize about this happening and how I could have helped them.
But whether I as a little 8-year old girl could have really saved my parents’ marriage or not, or how logical those Superwoman-esque thoughts really were, they were very real for me.
And thus, my career was borne.
I wasn’t able to save my own parents’ relationship, so I was going to learn how to save everyone else’s instead! My parents’ relationship didn’t work out, so I was going to make sure MY relationship did, so I can have the happy, fairy-tale marriage and family that I never got to fully have.
I declared it as my life’s mission to learn how to prevent these terrible things we call divorces all over the world. I never wanted anyone I cared about to have to go through a divorce, and I never, ever wanted to go through one myself… I would make damn sure of that!
I became fascinated with relationships and psychology, increasingly determined to figure out’ all the secrets and ‘keys’ to create successful relationships that work and last for life. I was always researching and reading all the relationship, dating and attraction books and studies that I could get my hands on. And I excitedly took this mission on!
I became the unofficial love ‘coach’ and adviser to my mother, my friends and classmates, and my brothers and all their (cute) friends, advising them on everything from helping them land the girl or guy they’ve been crushing on, to coaching them through their relationship issues, or helping them heal their broken hearts. It didn’t matter who I was counseling or whether they were younger or older than me, my wisdom seemed to transcend any age or gender gap.
As more and more relationships around me crumbled and divorces started becoming the norm among my family and friends, I was obsessed with discovering the secrets to having a relationship that beat the odds of divorce and stood through all the tests of life. Not only for myself, but for everyone around me. I wanted everyone to be able to have the lasting, fairy-tale marriage, including myself.
Through my learning and development during the years, I seem to have unleashed a profound intuition – or what I came to call my “6th Sense” – for being able to talk to people and quickly read and understand their relationships and dating circumstances very accurately…. Sort of like how a Psychic reads your fortune, except for my psychic-ness seems to be specific to the area of people’s dating and relationships! Bizarre. (Well I certainly didn’t get the gift of Athleticism, so I guess this was my compensation. Lol).
I became very attuned with the energy and ‘heartbeat’ of a couples’ relationship.
Just by looking at a couple or being in their presence for a few minutes I could tell if they were having problems, if they had just been fighting, making love, if they were a compatible couple or not, and how long they would last. Just by talking with someone for a few minutes I could get a very accurate read on them, and understand intimately what the source of their problems were between the opposite sex or their partner, and what they needed to do to fix it. And as I continued acquiring my own relationships and dating experiences, they continued to add more layers of depth to my knowledge and kept refining my relationship psychic-ness.
Along with my study of relationships and love I studied all the components that go along with it in every stage, especially the whole world of dating, attraction, male and female psychology, sex, and social dynamics. Because one needs to understand and master the ‘dating phase’ first before they can master the ‘relationship phase.’ But even before that… There is one more phase that one must work on and master…
I came to a profound realization that: It all starts, and ends, with YOU!
All of the things that happen within dating and relationships, the level of success or failure of our experiences, is all entirely dictated and influenced by YOU.
It may sound pretty obvious and simplistic, but it’s actually pretty profound and if everyone really grasped this, then there would be much more successful and lasting relationships…
Because what this means is that we have a lot of work to do on ourselves, first! There’s a lot of personal responsibility one needs to take on if they want to find true and lasting love with the right partner.
See most people look outside themselves to try to find greater happiness and love, or a better relationship. They keep searching for some ONE else or some THING else out there to ‘complete’ them or to make themselves happier or more confident. But YOU are actually at the source of everything that you want, and you’ve got to put some work into being the best version of YOURSELF first in order for you to attract the best relationship (and life) for you.
I realized that we as individuals need to be much more self-aware of who we are and what we WANT for relationships and our lives. And we need to be much more intentional and conscious in our efforts of finding ‘The One,’ and in the dating process along the way. If we keep going about dating and finding the right one blindly, haphazardly or with minimal awareness of what we’re doing, we will keep ending up in the wrong relationships, failed marriages and lots of mistakes and heartaches.
Our society has CHANGED, and continues to change rapidly… We want different things now and we have different (and much higher!) expectations and criteria for what we want in a partner, relationship and marriage than we did 50 years ago.
And along with our changing expectations, dramatically shifting gender roles and the climbing divorce rate, the dating scene also started changing rapidly and becoming very different and confusing for many people, especially with the advent of the Internet, Online Dating and new technologies. It’s really become a dating jungle out there!
In the last 10 years especially, people have been scrambling for help and answers! There has been a dire need for coaching and education in this area to guide people through all this craziness.
There is so much negativity and chaos going on in the world today as we’ve been rapidly evolving, so much breaking up and divorces, unhappy marriages and relationships, and people who are just existing in the world single and lonely or living unhappy, unfulfilling lives. People seem to have forgotten what life is all about – and what real LOVE is.
I believe it is everyone’s birthright to find true love in their lives and live a life that they really love. And that’s what I believe I was put on this planet to help people do. I know very well now that there’s a reason why I’ve gone through all the experiences I have, and over the years I’ve actually become truly grateful for it because all those experiences have shaped me into the person that I am today and have paved the path for my real purpose here. It’s as if the Universe already mapped out this plan for me and signed me up for this role way before I even arrived here. And the more I’ve grown into this position, with every year that passes I’ve seen the need for this work grow more and more. That’s why I’ve dedicated my life’s work to making a real, positive impact in this area.
What I’ve been hard but happily at work on in the last 10 years is creating extraordinary relationships and marriages that WORK and that LAST, all over the world. Marriages that actually BEAT the odds of divorce. I’m working on connecting men and women more intimately and bringing greater harmony, understanding and communication between the sexes, so we can create more successful and loving relationships with each other more readily. And I’m helping to make it possible for as many people as I can to find the love of their lives, AND live a life that they truly LOVE. A life that is passionate, delicious and fulfilling! Not a life that they are merely “existing” in and bored with.
When people are in love, when they are in happy, fulfilling relationships that work – they are more productive, more peaceful, more loving to those around them and live a better overall quality of life.
People who are in great relationships are actually a more positive contribution to society. And on the contrary, people who are alone and lonely, or who are stuck in unhappy, unfulfilling relationships or marriages that don’t work are actually a negative contribution to society on the whole, and tend to be depressed, less productive in their jobs, unfriendly to people, and more likely to do destructive things to society and to other people throughout their lives.
Imagine what it would be like if YOU and everyone around you were in loving, happy relationships??
The world would be a pretty different place!
So very long story short, that right there is what I’m up to and what I’m passionate about, and you can bet that I’ll be doing this till I’m in the grave. I’m always going to be doing this because this is much more than a job for me – it’s my passion and it’s personal, and my fire for it will always keep burning. Every new relationship I create, every person’s life that I help transform, and every new marriage that I help save reignites it.
I look forward to waking up every day and it’s an honor to do the work that I do! Thank you 🙂
In Love & Success, DeAnna xo
Your Relationship and Dating Coach