cija Cija Black is the author of MODERN LOVE: The Grownup’s Guide to Relationships & Online Dating. Her talk, Restart Your Love Life with a Heart Makeover, is part of the Body Positive Dating Master Class happening this Saturday. For tickets and more info, click here.
Body Love Wellness: What made you decide to write Modern Love?
Cija Black: I wrote MODERN LOVE because I have always enjoyed the process of dating and realized that it wasn’t how most people experience it. I started using personal ads when I was in college and living in San Francisco and then moved onto online personals and dating sites in the late 90’s and then again when I found myself single after 10 years of marriage.
When I told people I used online dating websites they were always interested in what it was like and would inevitably have the same sorts of questions and concerns. They asked me things like: “Isn’t it scary?”, “How do you know what to write in your profile?”, “What do you do if your date is a jerk?” I realized I didn’t carry around the same kinds of fears about online dating and wanted to share my approach so that others could also find success in love, or at the very least have fun. I view dating as a way to get to know yourself better, meet new people and fine tune your people skills, and it’s a bonus if you end up falling in love!
BLW: In your view, what’s the worst kind of relationship baggage to carry with you?
CB: The worst kind of relationship baggage is the kind you aren’t even aware you are dragging around with you. There are these insidious expectations and assumptions that we collect throughout our lives and carry around with us and eventually use on unsuspecting partners. We gather this baggage from how our parents were, from what we picked up from movies (my personal favorite were John Hughes “Pretty in Pink” type films) or songs we heard when we were 16 and don’t even recognize that we use those same laws and principles in our own adult relationships.
I spend the whole first section of my book MODERN LOVE: The Grownup’s Guide to Relationships & Online Dating explaining how you can (and should) take a good long look at your relationship baggage. The goal being to keep what works chuck what doesn’t and fine tune what’s left. I highly recommend going through some of that baggage before getting out there and dating. No one wants to date an emotional mess and you certainly don’t want to present your own mess to others. Nobody is perfect and I am not saying that you should wait to date until you have everything sorted out, but it is important to at least know your way around your baggage before embarking on a new relationship. It cuts down on the surprises at least from your end.
BLW: If you could share just one dating/relationship tip, what would that be?
CB: Don’t approach each first date (and there will most likely be many) as if you are meeting your soul mate. That is way too much pressure to put on you and the other person. It is like you said in #9 of a recent post 9 Body Positive Ways To Amp Up Your Attractiveness “have fun with that person”. You are both there for the same reason, to see if you click. If you do great! If you don’t that’s OK too, you can’t expect to be everyone’s cup of tea anymore then everyone can appeal to you. Have fun, enjoy the process and relish the opportunity to meet other people. People can be interesting if you give them a chance and you may just find love.
You can catch Cija’s talk, Restart Your Love Life with a Heart Makeover, with an all-access ticket to the Body Positive Master Class. Get yours here!
UPDATE: Cija is giving away 2 copies of her book to two lucky commenters! Just write a comment below about what you love best about yourself I will choose two winners at random on February 15th!