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The Short Version: Dr. Susan Edelman is an MD psychiatrist with a lot of good advice for single women. Her private coaching practice empowers women to know who they are and what they want — and then take action to meet their relationship goals. Dr. Susan literally wrote the book on owning your power in the dating scene. “Be Your Own Brand of Sexy” offers clear and uncompromising steps to building a healthy relationship that works for you.
When it comes to dating, most singles are self-taught. They don’t have a rule book. They haven’t taken any classes about relationship-building, healthy communication, or attachment. They just dive in, cross their fingers, and make it up as they go along.
It’s as if we’ve all decided to randomly guess the answers on a multiple-choice test instead of studying for it. A fortunate few may stumble onto the right answers, but many more people will struggle to come out ahead. Singles without the proper knowledge can have trouble choosing the right partner and attracting a healthy relationship.
Fortunately, relationship therapist Dr. Susan Edelman can deliver the insights and encouragement to get singles back on track. She’s like a tutor for singles in the modern dating scene. Dr. Susan offers private dating and relationship coaching geared toward women looking for Mr. Right. She teaches her clients how to date on their own terms and get the results they want.
Board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Susan Edelman has spent 30 years as a practicing therapist in Palo Alto, California. She specializes in women’s issues. She’s the author of the award-winning book “Be Your Own Brand of Sexy: A New Sexual Revolution for Women” and the ebook “What to Say to Men on a Date.” She helps single women reclaim their power by learning what works best for them, instead of what they’re programmed to believe is normal.
In addition to her private practice, Dr. Susan is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at Stanford University in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She’s been a guest on dozens of radio shows, including Jenny McCarthy’s “Dirty, Sexy, Funny.”
According to Dr. Susan, there’s nothing more attractive than being unapologetically yourself. “It’s all about accepting who you are,” Dr. Susan said. “Our culture may tell you that you’re not attractive, confident, or successful enough, but being your own brand of sexy is a place of acceptance.”
Dr. Susan advises women to know what they want in the dating world before actually entering the dating world. What is the end goal? Is it a long-term relationship? Married life? Children? Or do you just want something casual? These are questions singles must ask themselves, so they can create a plan of action that will actually get them where they want to go.
According to Dr. Susan, singles should also have realistic expectations for how their relationship would work. Every couple creates their own rules for things like how often the two communicate, how they pay for dates, what they like to do together, and so on. Sometimes people need constant contact to keep the relationship strong, while others require more space.
“Ideally, a woman would be clear on her goals for dating,” Dr. Susan explained. “Plenty of women aren’t clear, and they get burned in the process with hookups or crash-and-burn relationships.”
In her coaching practice, Dr. Susan often sees singles who have been dating for months or years with no success, and she focuses on finding the underlying patterns and habits holding them back. Maybe they’re choosing incompatible dates, or maybe they aren’t communicating their needs. Dr. Susan told us the singles who identify and address recurring problems will have a much easier time moving forward with a healthy relationship when there is a solutions-based approach.
“If you’re the common denominator, you may have patterns in your dating life that don’t work for you,” she said. “When you have a sense of where you might be sabotaging your dating efforts, you can take steps to understand and prevent similar situations in your future.”
Dr. Susan has advised singles through a number of difficult and sensitive issues, and she doesn’t shy away from the hard questions about intimacy and sex.
Sometimes newly dating couples experience tension (and not the good kind) and disagree on when the right time to have sex is. That can be a potentially relationship-ending problem, but Dr. Susan helps couples tackle this subject with compassion, respect, and patience. She encourages couples to define their relationships before rushing into sex.
“I’m concerned about the cultural pressures on women and men to have sex quickly,” Dr. Susan said. “You heart is precious and protecting it in the dating world is very important. When you don’t know a man very well, you don’t know if you can trust him, so it’s better to take your time to figure that out rather than rushing into anything.”
By drawing from more than 30 years of experience as a therapist, Dr. Susan can work with singles to create a personal dating strategy that will work quickly. She specializes in helping women overcome mental and emotional blocks on the way to love, but she also provides practical guidance on where to meet the right men and how to waste no time getting in a relationship.
“It’s ideal to meet a man doing something that you both love,” she said. “You’ll know you have something in common and automatically will have an easy topic of conversation.”
When some dating experts talk about compatibility, they mean you both like to go camping or you work in similar fields. When Dr. Susan talks about compatibility, she’s talking about something much deeper and more meaningful. She tells her clients to look for dates who have compatible lifestyles and goals.
“We can transform modern dating and take back our power when we learn to say “NO” to what we don’t and “YES” to what we do want with men.” — Dr. Susan Edelman
Dr. Susan told us it’s important for singles to know what they can and cannot compromise on in a relationship. There may be wiggle room on vacation plans or pets, but it’s hard to bend on the big issues like monogamy or family values. According to Dr. Susan, the superficial details can work themselves out as long as couples have built a strong foundation of shared values.
“It’s nice if you have similar interests, but not a requirement as long as you still spend time together,” Dr. Susan said. “Respect, friendship, and enjoying your partner’s company are much more important.”
As a relationship therapist, Dr. Susan also has tremendously helpful words of wisdom for couples experiencing conflict. She provides a framework for open communication that fosters growth and understanding.
“Bring up your concerns about the relationship, rather than letting them fester, but do it in a tactful way,” Dr. Susan advised. “When you care how your partner feels, it makes a big difference in the quality of your relationship. Listen and take their feelings seriously. Be positive, grateful and appreciative.”
Online dating has changed the dating scene, and dating professionals like Dr. Susan have had to adapt to the new reality. Many singles have questions about how to develop a real relationship based on an online connection, and Dr. Susan has the answers.
The online dating coach tells her clients to wait for men to contact them and not to bother responding to winks or likes — they should focus on the guys who actually muster up the energy to send an initial message. After all, women who are seeking a relationship need partners who are willing to do the work alongside them, and that starts from the very beginning.
Dr. Susan also encourages online daters to make plans for a real-life date sooner rather than later because “you aren’t looking for a pen pal.” After a few days of messaging, you should either set up a date or move on to someone who’s more serious. One-third of online daters have never met anyone in person, and too much chatting wastes time on a relationship that isn’t real.
For safety reasons, online daters should always meet in public places. Dr. Susan recommends getting coffee, dinner, or a drink as a standard get-to-know-you date. She said couples can move on to more activity-based dates (concerts, plays, sporting events, art exhibits, etc.) once they know each other better.
“Take your time getting to know him,” Dr. Susan advised online daters. “He is virtually a stranger so don’t rush into inviting him to your place or hopping into bed. You don’t know what could be in store for you.”
Dr. Susan recommends keeping the first-date conversation light and avoiding sensitive or controversial topics, including politics and family history. This is the perfect time to talk about what you like to do for fun or where you like to vacation. You should talk about your hobbies, your favorite movies, your accomplishments, and other positive things.
“On a first date, you’re getting to know the basics,” Dr. Susan said. “It’s OK to admit you’re nervous. It’s a good idea to ask questions rather than do all the talking, but don’t grill your date about anything very personal.”
You wouldn’t expect to ace a test without studying for it, yet many singles expect to know how to date and maintain a relationship without any prior preparation. They often go in blind and ill-prepared to get what they want.
Dr. Susan Edelman can fill that knowledge gap and educate singles on the do’s and don’ts of the dating world. The relationship therapist works with clients one on one in private coaching, and she can also inspire crowds as a guest speaker at conferences and workshops.
She gives lectures, creates videos, and writes books to reinforce a central message: Being authentic in a relationship is the most attractive thing you can do. She inspires singles and couples to do the self-work it takes to ready themselves for a long-term commitment.
“Keeping a relationship going takes commitment and hard work,” Dr. Susan said. “It’s very important to find a partner who is committed and willing to work so that you are in it together.”