"Only when you unlock your heart can you truly love and be loved."
About Dar Hawks
“Nobody goes to relationship school when they’re a kid.”
You’ve got to learn as you go. At least, that’s what I’ve found when it comes to my most intimate relationships. You can’t “learn” how to have great relationships in your head (or even your heart)—you’ve got to learn in real life!
But even if we don’t get lessons in how to have great relationships at a school, most of us deeply absorb our beliefs, patterns, and messages about what we want in relationship (and what we don’t) from watching our parents.
Take my story, for example. My parents are Indian, and I was born in Zambia. In the culture my parents grew up in, you honor your parents by obeying them. It’s normal for your parents to pick your spouse.
That’s part of my inheritance. Even at a young age, I felt the tension between what my parents expected, and what I wanted for myself. Especially when it came to who made the decisions in my life… including my relationships.
“I was successful in everything… except relationships”
Fast forward a decade or so. My career in IT was on the rise. I had fulfilled a lot of my formal education ambitions. I had great girlfriends, was financially independent, and on the whole, my life was shaping up pretty darn well.
Except for my relationships.
I remember sitting at my kitchen table when I was in my early thirties. I was so upset and frustrated – my life was going so well EXCEPT when it came to my relationships. I balled. I felt like such an utter failure.
At one point, I actually counted. I’d had 31 relationships. None of them had worked out.
I knew I wanted a lifelong partnership, but when it came to actually finding it, I kept messing up.
What was wrong with me?
Thankfully, after awhile, a peace came over me. After I felt those feelings of sadness, shame, and loneliness, I started looking deeper.
“I am a successful woman who knows how to synthesize lots of information and so it’s simple to solve the problem” I told myself. “I do this in my work every day.”
So I fired up my analytical mind, and took a look at what was really happening in these relationships.
Singles - It's time to fix your 'picker'
And what I found was eye-opening. I’d been telling myself a story that “what was wrong” was the guys I’d been choosing to date. But the truth was, the issue was with me… and specifically, with my “picker.”
I love the concept of the “picker” – and so do many of my single clients, because it’s often a huge epiphany. When we’re single, many of us default to dating who is interested in us. We give up our power of selection, simply by saying yes to someone who “picks” us without pausing to think if we want to choose them.
Before I “fixed my picker”, my default was men who were the opposite of my dad. I didn’t even realize I was doing it. But clearly, that wasn’t working for me—because what I really desired from my partner was way more than a single factor.
You know how when you are shopping for a major purchase like a car or a big kitchen appliance, you make a list of all the things you’re looking for?
That’s what I did with relationships. I literally took an inventory of all the guys I know, and made a list of the traits and attributes that mattered to me.
Within 6 weeks, I’d met Chuck, my amazing husband.
I literally rewrote my story around love and relationships. And created a new story for my future life to be different from my past. (This actually became my book, STOP BEING SINGLE NOW).
How I started working with couples
Chuck and I married in 1999. By that time I was already a coach, and I’d received an invitation to speak at a workshop. A man approached me after my talk and said “my wife is about to leave me, and I know you are the one to help us.”
I don’t remember exactly what I’d said—it was something about my deep belief that many relationship problems are solvable when you listen with open ears.
I ended up facilitating communication between this man and his wife, and things changed for them in their relationship. They are still together today.
“Happily Ever After” means different things
I don’t mean to say that staying together is the only happy ending. Since 2000, when I began focusing exclusively on relationship and communication skills, I have helped individuals and couples decide to separate, too. If that’s the best decision, I have seen that be a “happy ending” (and beginning), too. No regret. No second-guessing yourself. No doubts.
Not Just for Fairy Tales
Now, I work with singles to rewrite their stories around love and relationships. So they can clear what’s sabotaged them in the past, and open themselves to finding lasting love with their soulmate.
And I also work with couples to help them see that their problems aren’t as complicated as they are making them. Ninety-nine percent of relationship issues don’t have to do with money or intimacy or sex or “different priorities”… they have to do with communication!
My approach is results-based. I am not here to talk in circles or let you waste your time (or mine!). I help my clients get to the root of what’s really going on, and find ways to shift that in simple yet profound ways. The end result is more connection, more intimacy, more trust, and this deep sense of relief (“Oh! This is a MUCH more useful and enjoyable way to talk and listen to each other!”).
As a Master Licensed Relationship Coach for Singles and Couples, I am here to help you create the relationship of your dreams. Will it look like the movies or fairy tales? Probably not. But I promise you, this work will help you create something great in your life. And it would be my true honor to guide you along your path to living your “real life” love story.