California, USA – This Valentine’s Day- and every day, for that matter- Dr. Susan Edelman, a Board-certified psychiatrist and adjunct clinical associate professor at Stanford University, pulls no punches in advocating for a woman’s right to an authentic voice in romantic relationship. This shines through in her practice and coaching, as well in her dating advice book for women, Be Your Own Brand of Sexy: A New Sexual Revolution for Women. On this Valentine’s Day during COVID, Dr. Edelman has some special advice for single women. Read on!
Dr. Edelman was prompted to write Be Your Own Brand of Sexy after some 35 years of seeing in her practice a dangerous trend: despite the supposed ideal that women are “equal” to men, women are still struggling with standing up for themselves and refusing what they do not want in their romantic relationships, ie unanticipated sexual “hook-ups,” too-early sex or sex without marriage or even long-term commitment. Further, although sometimes becoming confident about asking for their wants and needs in other areas of life, these same highly intelligent, often well-educated women were fearful of having their dating and relationship “no”s misunderstood or even disrespected. Conversely, they were also hesitant to ask for what they wanted and needed from the prospective romantic and intimate relationship partners that came into their lives.
“Then as is now,” Dr. Edelman shares with Splash, “I wanted women to have a voice and stand up for themselves. It was shocking to me that women across generations still struggle with this despite all the breakthroughs women have made. We think it’s getting better, but it’s not. That same struggle is why they don’t get what they want from men. It can even stop them from getting what they want out of life. I want to support the women who will never walk through my office door yet need a helping hand.”
Dr. Edelman sees a need for a new global revolution, if you will, in male-female relationships. “New” being the operative word here since the first relationship “revolution” occurred in 1960 when the birth control pill was introduced, effectively ushering in “The Sexual Revolution.” The negative results of this, of course, have been identified since that time, and by the 50th anniversary of The Pill in 2010, one might chart a very somber record of resulting sorrows. In Be Your Own Brand of Sexy, Dr Edelman strives to help women reclaim their power by learning what works best for them—instead of what they’re programmed to believe is “normal” by today’s culture.
Dr. Edelman suggests that women- and men- consider a new way to operate that brings full, and true, equality to heterosexual relationship: by allowing women to be, as Dr. Edelman has coined the phrase, their “own brand” of sexy. Women are then truly liberated, without fear of loss/reprisal for objecting to, say, an expectation of sex on the third date and other assumptions that might be lingering in the dating culture. Unfortunately, many women continue dating someone even if he’s bulldozed her boundaries. But there are consequences to this.
“Being in a relationship that doesn’t work for you can hurt you,” Dr. Edelman shares. “Not only do you lose precious time, but it can even break your heart. When you stay in something that isn’t right for you, you can lie to yourself and make excuses for him, which often amounts to discounting your feelings. None of this is good for your confidence because you aren’t being true to yourself. Long term, if you can’t say “no,” you don’t get what you want. Any woman has a choice and can change her future so that she becomes more empowered.”
Be Your Own Brand of Sexy also speaks to the many other ways women don’t stand up for themselves with men. Dr. Edelman’s second invaluable book, What to Say on a Date, gives some further pointers to help encourage and empower single women. Still, there are even further unique challenges we face in beginning or continuing the dating process during this time of COVID, since during this time of isolation a lack of companionship may feel that much more pronounced.
“Unfortunately, COVID-19 makes the dating process even more complex than it already was,” Dr. Edelman shares. “If you have any trouble standing up for yourself, it can become overwhelming to set even the basic limits on social distancing. For example, you can still have a video chat date, but it requires you to tell a man that you aren’t comfortable meeting face to face yet. Then you may want to keep meeting by chat and you’d have to say “no” until you feel comfortable. Many women have just given up on dating until it gets easier for them. I have a free guide to help women with dating during the pandemic. It’s called, How to Make a Good First Impression Video Chat Dating. Get it here. “Don’t Let the Coronavirus Hurt Your Lovelife! » Be Your Own Brand of Sexy.”
Dr. Edelman’s work to remind women they DO have a choice- and to help them find, and use, their voice in this- is invaluable in our time. How do we navigate modern dating, and how especially during COVID? More and more single women may desire to begin actively dating to find a husband, but are reticent to take that first step. In the meantime, what do we do with yet another romantic holiday such as, day, Valentine’s Day passing us by- and then June weddings and so…?
“Valentine’s Day can be one of the hardest days to be single when you want to be in a relationship,” Dr. Edelman shares. “Will those flowers ever be for you? Put down the tub of ice cream. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be miserable anymore. You can change your perspective. Don’t forget the advantages to being single, like all the free time you have to take good care of yourself. Take the time to appreciate all your good qualities. Remember when you are good to yourself, you get better at identifying those who aren’t treating you well. So be kind, and take care of yourself, so that when Mr. Right looks like he’s about to enter your world, you can actually see if he’s really all that.”
Dr. Edelman has a full psychotherapy practice for women who would like to work on issues that may be impacting their forward momentum in the area of romantic relationship, as well as dating coaching for anyone needing a little “push” or some reassurance. It is her sincere wish that all women and girls would be aware of and exercise their right to say “no,” as well their right to choose, and ask- with confidence- for what brings them joy with safety.
“I love helping to empower everyone I work with,” Dr. Edelman shares, “(both) my coaching clients and my patients. Recognizing when you have a choice and making the right decisions can help you improve your love life as well as all the other areas of your life.”
Visit Dr. Susan Edelman’s web site for her Ten Questions That Will Help You Improve Your Love Life and take the free Quiz to help figure out your dating style and whether or not you’re being your own Brand of Sexy. For more information about dating, you can access, free of charge, Dr.Edelman’s report “Are You Making These 7 Critical Dating Mistakes?”: www.beyourownbrandofsexy.com. Be sure to let her know we sent you!