This episodes features best-selling author Christine Chang. Based in LA, Christine helps high-performing women create ideal relationships in their personal and professional lives by teaching self-awareness, boundaries, accountability, and communication skills. Her book "Show Up: Finding Love for Independent Women" has helped thousands of professional women all over the world create the relationship of their dreams.
- The biggest challenges entrepreneurs face in their dating lives.
- How hitting rock bottom spurred her six year personal growth journey & how that work was essential in meeting her husband.
- Her self-development journey // Different types of therapy and which had the biggest impact on her dating life.
- How dating is an important part of the self-discovery process.
- Practical exercises we can do to get clear on the type of person/relationship we want.
- Patterns that drove her attraction to unavailable men, and how she broke those patterns.
- Overcoming perfectionism.
- And much more!
Without further ado my conversation with Christine Chang.
I'm so excited that we were put in touch by our mutual friend Telina and I heard your podcast with Telina, which I absolutely loved. Telina messaged me right away. She was like, “You have to get Christine on your podcast. She was great.”
Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here. And I don’t know if we'll discuss it in this episode, but I'm actually interested in learning more about professional matchmaking because I personally, I've never done it before, but I know people who have, and I'm sure people are interested in that. So maybe, maybe in the future you can come on my podcast.
Yeah. I would love to talk about that. I love talking about it. So anytime! So actually I thought we could start by talking about how you became an entrepreneur yourself. I mean, you've built your name into this great brand with your with your podcast and your blog and now your book. So I just wanted to find out, were you always entrepreneurial or how did you become an entrepreneur?
Yes, I get it from my mom. She is a business woman and so I watched her build two companies growing up. So it's always been in me. I think I also can be kind of a control freak. I like freedom. So being an entrepreneur kind of was a good fit for me. And before I wrote my book, I was a celebrity and lifestyle photographer for 15 years and photographing a lot of weddings as well because I was always drawn to connection between people. So that was a really good fit for me because I got to see that I got to be around love and happy moments, which was really appealing to me. And so during that time I was doing my own personal growth as well as blogging about my dating experiences when I was learning, dating as an independent woman. And that's kind of where I got some of the content and idea for my book.
I love that. You said you watched your parents, you watched your mom. So they were also very entrepreneurial?
So they are in biotech. So they live in Silicon Valley and they work together and I saw them build two businesses and what it took, the patience, the grit that it took. So I've always had a lot of confidence in that area of my life because I had great role models. I saw living examples of what it takes. You just do this and you can have this result. And so that part was always easy for me.
The challenging part was the dating and the relationships. That part I felt like was the only part in my life that was a challenge. It was so frustrating. And that was also another inspiration for my book, because I know there are a lot of women out there who are very capable and career oriented. They feel like they're good at a lot of things. They have great friends, they're good at their hobbies, but why is this one part of life challenging? So I wanted to unpack that and make it easier for other people because my process was, I just, I understand how frustrating it can be when you're in that space. And there's a lot of solutions out there, but I feel that very few people talk about how crappy it can feel when you're going through it, it sucks. It's like so bad.
Yeah. I feel like we're taught in school how to build a business. We can go get a degree in entrepreneurship or an international business, but there's no courses, there's no resources (for learning what it takes to be in a successful relationship). Like we don't learn that stuff in school. It's just kind of mind boggling to me, you know.
Like basic communication should be taught in school. So many of us need it because unless you're lucky that you had really good role models, you know, like your parents, which I think the majority of people, they learned communication from their parents. And so for me personally, like my parents are immigrants and their communication style is… I don't think it's very good. It's not very clear. It's not very transparent, but it’s what they know. They learned it from my grandparents. So I've learned more compassion around it, but I have also learned the importance of good communication and how life is just so much easier when you learn good communication.
How did you learn good communication?
I actually took some classes. There was one program called Landmark Education. I did that. I really liked it. It's not for everyone. I'm not one of those like hardcore people that say like, you have to do Landmark. I think it's a very logical and masculine approach to life. And I respond well to that. So that program helped me a lot with my communication and being self-expressed.
I also learned good communication by having role models, friends who were in marriages that I admired. And I watched, especially the women. How did they talk to their husbands? Or how did they talk to their friends to nurture these kinds of relationships? I wanted the result that they had. So what were they doing that I was not doing or that I did not know how to do? So I think the role models are also very important too, because I think it gives confidence that it is possible because some people, if you don't have those good role models, you just believe what you see. Like, “Oh no, all marriages are like this”, because it's all you’ve seen. So I think seeking out people who have the result that you want is one of the most effective ways to get what you want.
I love that. I'm going to ask you more about that in a second, finding a mentor. I'm on that path right now and well, yeah, we'll get into that in just a second. First. I want to go back to what you say in your book, “My goal with dating was to feel how it felt with business: confident, easy, not personal.” So, why do you think that you felt so confident in your career, but not in dating? Where did that stem from?
I think it was the role models as being a child, again, seeing my parents and seeing them build their companies. I just, I knew it was possible it was right there for me. And the challenge with dating came from a lack of role models. I think my parents are good at a lot of things and my mom will even admit, she'll say, “I don't think I'm a good role model for you in the area of romantic relationships.” And, that's okay for a while. I was bummed about it, like, “Oh man, why can't you teach me this?” However, I've learned a lot of compassion through the years that not everyone is good at everything. I'm not good at everything. And to have someone else expect me to be good at everything, it's just not fair. And so I came to accept that, like that's okay. Like, you know, it would have been nice if they were good role models. By the way my parents are divorced, but they they own the company together. They're very good business partners. They're good with money. They're very practical. But they didn’t have a healthy relationship. I was like, I don't want that. I don't want to create a marriage like that. And there's a bunch of other things that I have unpacked with my therapist regarding why I had certain beliefs of not feeling good enough, feeling like I'm not important. And again, these all stem from childhood. So I had to unpack a lot of that to feel like I deserved great love. And a lot of times when people are really entrepreneurial and high achievers, a lot of that usually stems from, I'm not good enough. I want to better. And so that I'm not good enough can spill over to your personal life as well. I felt like I'm not good enough. I have to perform and achieve in order to be loved. That was one of the stories I had because my parents really value achievement. And so that's what I felt like I had to do. I have to be this really awesome accomplished person in order for people to love me. And I have to go above and beyond for these men to win them over. That was my belief. And so I had to work through that for many years.
Yeah. It's a process. Everything that you're saying, I can relate to 100%. The whole, I'm not enough. I still deal with that a lot. With, you know, self acceptance and self love. And, and it's so funny because I consider myself also an entrepreneur and I'm identifying with everything that you’re saying. And I think it does spill over into your dating life and into your personal life. For example, in my head, I'm like, this is never good enough. Or I want to do this perfect, this isn't perfect. Or I want to find the perfect partner, this isn't the perfect partner, you know, which doesn't exist. The perfect partner doesn't exist!
I’m sure you have to coach your clients on that. That's another thing. If you're a high achiever, you want this perfect person. So you need to learn compassion that, that nobody is perfect. Like you really have to be compassionate with people because the way that we might show up with work, that works great. Doesn't work well in personal relationships. And my husband is a great role model for me in that aspect, because he's so patient and he doesn't make me feel judged and I feel emotionally safe with him, all those components that make for a healthy long-term relationship, he is naturally really good at. And I know how good it feels because he gives it to me. So I really try my best to give it back to him. Although I will admit it's a work in progress for me because I'm naturally very type A, very impatient and I have my managerial, like chop, chop efficiency mindset. I really have to be aware of it and tone it down when I'm not working.
I'm laughing because I do the exact same thing. I think I was reading in your book. Oh gosh, I don't remember what it said exactly. But it was talking about how you are very fast paced and type A, and that your husband's very much not. He's very much slower paced. And I'm exactly the same way with my fiancé. He's very, like, I need to take my time. I need to process things. And I’m like “Come on! Just do it!!!”
It’s so frustrating, but it’s also unfair to them. And it's funny because it's usually the thing that you love most about them.
Yeah. so this brings up my next question. I think we just touched on one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs, but are there any other challenges that you find with these women that you're coaching; very driven, entrepreneurial women, what are the biggest challenges that they're facing in dating?
The biggest patterns I see is either they're in the pattern of choosing people who are emotionally unavailable, which I was there for many years, or it's again, the lack of compassion for people, they cut people off way too quick. When I say, you know, like pump the brakes, hold on, like be open and give it a chance. You might be right, you know, maybe you'll give it a chance and you're like, no, it's just not there. But that initial willingness to be open and going into it with curiosity instead of judgment, I think is really helpful.
I love that. I think it was Esther Perel that was talking about this very thing. There’s a lot of people that look for “the one” or the perfect partner and it just doesn't exist. And a lot of people are wanting to be certain about something that you can't be certain about. And so at first I feel it's just understanding that we don't need to be certain about finding the right person. Like there's curiosity, there’s the unknown, there’s mystery, there’s openness. And I feel like we would all just be able to relax a lot more in our dating lives if we just allow ourselves that curiosity and that openness and that unknown and the mystery. I feel like we would all just be able to relax a little bit and let things unfold naturally rather than just being like, I need to know if this is the person for me or not immediately, you know.
Absolutely. And it's kind of what kids do. Kids are really good at that. They're always very curious and you'll be a lot happier too, if you approach it with curiosity. And the staying open, I think, it is just like you said, it just makes life a lot more enjoyable and when you're in that state too, it's funny. Once you get into that mindset, you start to see potential candidates everywhere. Because if you, I mean, if I want to look at every bad thing about my husband, I can absolutely tell you that right now and find it. If I'm focused on that, of course everyone has good and bad qualities. I have good and bad qualities. However, if I want to focus on that, I think I will make myself miserable.
In your book. You talk a lot about personal journey. Your personal journey towards self-awareness and how that work was essential in meeting your husband. How did you start to do that work? And what was the first step in your journey?
So the first step that I didn't choose was hitting rock bottom and those lows are great for sparking personal development. And I just, I was so frustrated with the pattern and the result that I was getting to the point where I wanted to do something about it. And I was aware of that. If there's a pattern in my life, it's not a coincidence. It's not other people, there's something I'm doing, that's causing this result. And so I was like, okay, let me get curious, what am I doing? And I was lucky at that time, I had some friends who were into personal development. So they introduced me to some conferences. There was one called A Fest. It’s like TED talk meets Burning Man. It's in different locations all over the world. But that was probably my introduction into personal growth and people who are go getters, who also want to work on themselves. That really opened up the doors and they had a bunch of speakers. And so I dove into, you know, like Tony Robbins, Esther Perel, all that stuff. I loved it.
And it was probably five to six years of me doing a bunch of personal growth in personal relationships, in particular, before I started to really I'd say, "get it,” where dating became fun. Like, shouldn't this be fun? Why is this so painful and not fun for me? Where it became fun and easy. And I actually, I met my husband shortly after I had that shift in mindset.
And also changing my actions of course, because we can all learn things in personal growth. Like, “Oh, I should be doing this.” But you know, when you're ready to start making those changes and showing up differently for a different result and that's different for everyone. I coach people like I can't tell someone and I can't change someone. My job is to open up the awareness. Number one, you know, the awareness and taking self responsibility, what they can change, what they can do to create the relationship of their dreams. But it's up to them to just decide when they're ready to do that, when they're ready to stop dating emotionally unavailable people. A lot of people will know like, “Oh, I tend to do this”, but they'll still be drawn to the emotionally unavailable person like on autopilot.
Right. Oh, that's interesting. So you were doing self-work for five to six years, you said?
Yes. It was about five to six years. So I learned patience because I could be really hard on myself too. And I'm like, “Why do I still feel this way?” But if you put in the work, one day, you actually will feel better. I did wonder I'm like, “Am I ever going to not feel crushed when a relationship doesn't work out?” Because I think it's natural to feel disappointed and all that, but I would make it all about me. Like, I'm not good enough. He didn't choose me. There was a lot of pain, a river of pain associated with it. And I hated that it kicked that pain up. And I just wondered, “Is this ever going to change?” And a few years in it started to get better. I remember that I got dumped by someone or I put myself out there. Like I said, “I would love to date or be exclusive,” because it was one of those situations where we were kind of dating, but not exclusive. And I knew I had to just put myself out there to create the possibility of us heading in that direction. So it's like, what can I do. All I have to do is tell him. And I told him. And he was really sweet. He was just really honest. He was like, “You know, I'm just, I'm not there.” And after I got off the phone with him, and I wasn't crushed. I didn't cry. I felt really good that I put myself out there. I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is this day that I've been waiting for.” Like I felt bummed because I felt very compatible, but it's okay. I'm like, “My hard work paid off.”
I'm getting goosebumps. That's a great story. It's just like that one moment where you're like, “Wow, all of my work is coming to fruition.” So, from when you started doing the work up until this point, how long was that?
It was, I'd say at least three years for me, for it to get better. I mean, sometimes you have those breakthrough moments with personal growth where it could shift immediately like, “Oh, I don't take that personal anymore because I just deconstructed my triggers for it.” But a lot of times it, you know, these old stories and ways of being run so deep in our nervous system, that it could take time.
So learning to be really patient and gentle with myself. And I think that that self-love too really helped build my confidence and choose a partner who would also be really patient with me. Because I think if you're hard on yourself, you kind of attract what you're like, how you treat yourself, how you're used to. And again, that's one of my favorite things about my husband is how patient and loving he is with me. And he's very kind, I think kindness is a very underrated quality these days and for a long-term relationship, I think it's necessary to have kindness.
And going back to the work that you did, can you talk a little bit more about specifics? I know you went to A Fest and that was a great experience, but I know you experienced some other modalities as well. Can you talk a little bit about everything that you did and what had the biggest impact?
Sure. I saw a therapist for a bit and the therapist really helped me with connecting to my emotions because if you're a person who tends to stuff things down really deep, sometimes it could take a while to even know if something bothers you. For example, I didn't know that my parents' divorce bothered me, that I had pain around it. You know, people asked me like, “Are your parents still together?” I'm like, “No, they're divorced.” And it was always a matter of fact, but when the therapist asked me, and she's trained to give space and all, it was one of the first questions she asked me, "Are your parents together?” I was like, “No, they're divorced.” And all she did was sit back and she waited for me to keep talking. And in that silence, my tears just started pouring.
All I said was, I did not know that that bothered me. And there were so many moments when I was in therapy that that happened like, “Oh my gosh, I didn't know that that bothered me.” And so for the healing, I think letting that pain, acknowledging the pain, acknowledging where you're hurt is number one, it’s very important. And then when that emotion, when it's able to come out, I just, I remember feeling much better because I wasn't pretending, I wasn't hiding it, so it allowed me to heal. And so I could move forward and not hang on to so many things. So therapy was helpful.
I also had a coach. I had a life coach named Gypsy. He was an older native American man who he was very direct, no BS, which again, I respond really well to that.
So I liked how he said things to me. And also, I would listen to him. There's few people that I actually will listen to, but I will listen to him. I respected him a lot and he was awesome. He’s trained in like 67 different forms of touch, including Reiki, chiropractic, he did a lot of energy work. So the sessions with him would always be a little bit of talking but then also body work and aligning me. And I just loved that. Because with therapy, sometimes I think that it's easy to get in the cycle of talking and staying in that same story. I like to say, let's talk about it. Let's acknowledge it. But now what can I do to move forward? I don't want to stay stuck in that. So I liked Gypsy in that we talked, but not too much. He always simplified things to the point.
And for example, he'd say, “Are you ready to be in a relationship now, if you walked out the door and your guy was out there? Would you say yes?” And I would say like, “Yeah, of course. I want to be in a relationship.” And he was so intuitive. He almost wanted to say something, but he just sat back and he smiled. And he just said, “Okay," which I knew meant I'm not ready for it. Like if my guy was, I would be terrified, terrified that someone would actually show up for me. So he knew how to communicate with me in a way that I responded well to. So I think that's important, whoever your role model is, whoever you're seeing, that you respond well to how they deliver their coaching or message to you. Because like, therapy's not for everyone, but I think like the actual therapist matters. Not every therapist will be compatible for you. So finding one that that you feel safe with and that communicates in a way that is clear and that is receptive to you.
You said, “I would be terrified if my guy showed up.” What would you be terrified of? What was so scary about finding the right guy?
Intimacy, feeling seen, feeling accepted. I think I had a hard time feeling seen because I always felt judged growing up because my parents can be pretty critical. It could be cultural too, but I always, I got so self-conscious about that, of being seen, or being made fun of, or bullied, or you're weird. And so that's one of the reasons I chose my husband too, is because I feel so accepted by him. I think that's one of the biggest gifts you can give anybody is to make them feel accepted without judgment. And the narrative I had growing up, I feel like I was just around a lot of criticism and I'm a very sensitive person as well. And I just know that doesn't feel good. So I really, I really try my best not to do it to other people, including myself. Like to not criticize myself because it just, it doesn't feel good. And my husband and all my closest friends, my favorite thing about them is that they make me feel lovable for who I am.
Yeah. Self-love, and self-acceptance is the hardest thing to overcome. I mean, at least it has been for me, you know, I always have that voice inside of my head. Like, you're doing this wrong, you're not doing it good enough. So many voices and just on repeat, until you actually come to a point where you realize like, “Oh, wow, this is my self-talk every day, all day. I need to change this.”
Yeah. And that takes time too. I'm big on affirmations. So sometimes I'll stick little notes for myself. I'm good enough, for example, is one of them. I used to stick them everywhere. And I remember when I first met my husband and he came over and he saw all the notes and he would call me, he's like, “Okay, miss I'm good enough.” They’re little reminders. They actually work, the affirmations work for me. Some people think it’s cheesy. I mean, I think personal growth in general, could come off as cheesy. But I think like, I just want to be happy. I don't care. You know, I don't care if it's cheesy. And it's funny because it makes me think about business. Sometimes with my book, like I put myself on the cover of my book, which can kind of be cheesy. And I actually read it in one of Jensen Sarah's book. Like she had a coach that said to her, “Do you want to be cheesy? Or do you want to make money?” You know, like you need to get over the fact that you're being cheesy. And for me, I'm like, “Oh my gosh, it's letting go of caring. Right. Caring too much about what other people think.”
Yeah. Which is another huge hurdle. Were you still dating during this time of self growth, self development?
Yes. On and off. I think that sometimes you do need to be alone if you're in a healing phase. Like I did acknowledge times when I knew, it was better for me to be alone. I needed that space, but also I think you learn the most by dating, by actually being out there and dating. And you can learn a lot by going to a coach, reading books and things like that. However, I think when you're in relation to people, that's when things get kicked up, that's when you see your triggers, you learn what you like, what you don't like. So I do that. I think that's an important part of the process and learning about yourself is, is dating.
Yeah, I think so too. I think like a lot of people think that they need to be alone and they can't date while they're in this self-growth journey. And I also used to believe that until I realized, when you're dating or you're in a relationship, it's really like holding a mirror up to yourself, it just reflects all of your sh** back to you, you know?
Totally, totally. And it's good to let people see that no one's perfect. Like, are you waiting for yourself to be perfect to show yourself to someone? Because I don't think it's going to happen and just say, you reach a point where you're just really happy, confident with yourself, but once you get in a long-term relationship, it's up and down, like you'll have moments where you don't feel good. Like eventually the other person will see that. And so I think embracing that, you know, that there's going to be parts of your life you don't always feel 100% about and that's okay.
And do you think that seeing a therapist and Gypsy, your life coach, I mean, how instrumental were they in your dating journey and finding your husband? Do you think you could have gotten there alone? Or do you think that you might not have?
I think I could have gotten there alone. It just would have taken a lot longer. I think they helped me gain clarity quicker, which is another reason why I wrote my book because I think clarity is confidence. So in my book, I asked some questions at the end of the chapters and they are some of the questions I asked myself to help give myself clarity. You know, what I want to create, because once you're clear on what you want to create, then you know, what do I have to do to get that? You know, what are my boundaries, what are my core values? You know, for example, mine's integrity. So if a person showed me, they didn't have it, I knew that was a no. It didn't matter how charming he was, how much chemistry we had, how much he got me, if he could read my mind. It didn’t matter. Oh. But he doesn't have integrity so that's not going to work. So it helped the sifting process. It definitely sped up the sifting process.
I love that. Yeah. It helps to get clear. By the way, everyone needs to read her book. I love the book just because it's so practical. And like you were saying at the end of each chapter, it's like, you give these questions and I wrote so much at the end of each chapter to your questions. It really does help just to write it out or just to get really clear about who you are, what you're looking for. And so I found that very helpful. A lot of books aren't very practical or they don't give you a lot of exercises to do. And that's what I loved about your book. But for those that haven't read your book, out of all of the exercises that you provide in your book, what's one or two that you would recommend for people to get clear (on the type of person/relationship they want)?
I'm sure many of you have heard about making a list of qualities that you would like, which I think is a good idea to do that, but I think it's also good to know in which area you're willing to negotiate. I mean, there's the non-negotiables for sure. For example, for me it was if they don't have integrity, that's a no. But some of the things on the list, it's good to not be too rigid. Like what are the things that are a must, and what are the things that you'd be open to? We all have our preferences, but again, this goes back to people being too judgmental in the beginning, like, “Oh, but I don't like his hairline.” And I'm just thinking, "Is that a deal breaker though?”
Because if you're looking for a long-term relationship, what's going to matter in 10, 20 years? So I do think that people do choose differently when you're thinking long-term versus short-term because if you're having a fling in Bali for three months, a super passionate relationship, I think it would be super fun, right. Three months. But are you going to want to be having those kinds of fights in 10 years, in the same area where you guys are incompatible? You're going to have that forever. Do you want it?
Yes. Okay. I love that. I want to hear about the dating scene in LA.
Sure. I there's a lot of awesome people here. I think it's great that people tend to be really into fitness and taking care of themselves here, which I think being healthy is good, but of course everything's balanced too, right? Like, why are you working out the way you're working out? Is it for Instagram photos? But I do like that. A lot of people here are into bettering themselves, eating healthy, the lifestyle. And I usually tell people that whatever you believe is true. So there are some people here that say, Oh, dating in LA is so hard, no one wants to commit. And I'm just thinking, is that true? Because I also know a lot of people who are in lovely, committed relationships and they're married. So is it who you're choosing? Is it who you're attracting? Because I think if you think that you'll subconsciously find all the reasons why you're right and that all the good guys are taken.
That's what you're going to see over here. If you're more optimistic, curious, open, I can't say that's going to guarantee that you're going to meet your person, but it'll up the chances. You'll see more. For example, like my husband, me doing the work. I think if I didn't do my work, I wouldn't have seen him the way I saw him. I might've said, “Oh, he's too nice,” or “He's not aggressive enough.” I would've wrote him off completely. But because I did the work, I knew what to look for and I knew to stay open. I mean, I had an inkling when I met him and some people ask like, “Did you know?” And “Was it love at first sight?” I didn't know he was “the one,” but when I first looked at him, I had a good feeling. It was very calm and it felt like home, like, huh, this is worth exploring.
And that feeling was different from other men that I'd been attracted to, where it was like those butterflies, which I learned was anxiety for me. Actually, I don’t listen to those. This one was more calm, interested, but calm. I do think it takes time to learn about someone. You could have a feeling, like I can tell he's a good person, but you know, as the months progressed, I watched how he was showing up. Was he consistent? Was he reliable? How did he show up when I was crying my eyes out? Right. And that's what showed me what kind of person he was. So I do think that it takes time.
And I learned to not act on my emotions that I thought were an indicator of what a romantic person was supposed to be for me, like that Disney fairy tale, you know, the butterflies. And also the relationship I had with my dad was, is really good. I'm like a daddy's girl. And I like my dynamic with my dad. So I subconsciously thought like, “Oh, if it's true love, it's going to feel like that. Like, they're just going to get me. We don't have to say much.” And it is nice. It is a nice feeling when it's like that, but that's not an indicator that they're my forever person.
Oh, wow. Yeah. The whole subconscious plays such a huge role in attracting your person. I want to talk about that because it kind of goes back to everything that we were just talking about with you doing all of this work and figuring out, for example, that you were tired of these patterns that you were in, and you were attracted to unavailable men. So what do you think the pattern was that drove that attraction? Or where did that stem from?
I think it actually stemmed from my mom, that I wish she was around more. She worked a lot growing up and so she wasn't available. We didn't spend that much time together. She was at the office all the time. She was on business trips. We had nannies, we had au-pairs. And so emotionally, I didn't know what it felt like to have someone show up for me. So that felt familiar. Someone who was emotionally unavailable. And although my dad and I have a great connection, his generation, he’s an older Chinese man, he’s not the most expressive with his emotions. And they're just a little more practical. They’re both immigrants. So it was about survival and making money. Can we send our kids to school? That was parenting to them. That's good enough. The emotional aspect of it, wasn't a priority. And so that is where I got that from emotionally unavailability.
It felt familiar to me. So yeah, that was a big one to work through. And then the other pattern I had for a while was fixing people. I wanted to fix people because that's where I thought I brought value to someone. If they needed me, like, “Oh, they're going to love me, because they're going to need me.” And this kind of went hand in hand also when I started personal growth, which is funny because when you do the personal growth, you want to help people because you know how good it feels. So you naturally kind of want to help people. So there was a few years where I was attracting tortured soul who needed fixing. And then I was like, do I want this? Is this the relationship dynamic that I want? No, I want a healthy one.
So again, so how did you work through those issues specifically and come out on the other end with much more awareness to be able to resolve the issue?
I became aware of it before I was ready to start doing things differently. And so I continued dating the same kind of guys, emotionally unavailable, needed fixing, for a while until I reached that moment when I was done. And I remember because I was just so frustrated and I remember that moment. I was crying and I plopped down on the couch, very dramatic. And I said, “I'm done. I am done. I'm not going to choose this type of person anymore. I know the signs. As soon as they show me that they're emotionally unavailable, they're not ready to show up in a way where they're ready to be in a committed relationship with me. That is a no.” And then that moment I got so much clarity. And so I was able to say no, from then on. If someone showed me they're not ready to be in a committed relationship with me, that's a no. I mean, it sounds so obvious. It's one of the first things you should ask yourself. Does this person want it to be in a committed relationship with me? If the answer's no, that is enough. You want someone who wants to be in a relationship with you. And it sounds so obvious. It's like, duh.
The disappointment didn’t go away though. I think that's important to acknowledge that I did date and there were some really awesome guys, but maybe they just weren't ready or timing was off. And I learned to accept that, but I also learned to say no and you know, with the disappointment like, “Oh man, like maybe if timing was different, it could have worked out differently,” but it's not what's actually happening right now. I want to create the relationship of my dreams. I don't want to wait around for this person. So I'm going to say no, and I'm going to create the possibility that I can have that. I’m not attached to one person. Like you have to be that one for me. I know what I'm looking for. And if I'm happy, I'm happy.
So I had to create that space. And I actually met my husband shortly after that. I became more confident in that space and saying no quicker, but it’s a process. And when you talk to people, usually once you make those changes, the result happens pretty fast and it's all logic, right? Like if you want a particular result, you just change what you're doing and you'll get a different result. Easier said than done. But once you're able to do that, you will get a different result.
And were you able to connect the dots between dating unavailable men to your relationship with your parents? Or how did that come out?
Yeah, I think initially I wasn't sure like where it came from. I'm a person who doesn't like to dwell on the past too much. I was just like, what's going on? And what can I do about it? And then when I started to look more into it, I was like, “Oh, okay. That's why it feels familiar.” And patching up my relationship with my parents. I mean, my parents and I, we get along. Like I come from a great family. There's nothing really wrong. However, there were things I guess, healing that I had to do with them. For example, with my dad, one area, I didn't realize that the divorce upset me to the point where I was disappointed with him. I always accepted it, like, “Oh, I love dad. It's okay.” And I accepted that. I had wrote him a letter saying, “Your actions, like, you just didn't hurt mom. You hurt Crystal.” That’s my sister. “And you never said, sorry.” I didn't need him to do anything. I just wanted him to know because I don't think he knew, you know, he didn't think how his actions would affect his family. And so I just wrote him a letter. I'm like, it's just important for me to be self-expressed so that he knows. So I remember the letter and I sent it and the next time I saw him, I mean, I was fine. This is when I was doing heavy personal growth. So I was like, I don't need anything. You know, I just need to be self-expressed, but his reaction, which I wasn't expecting, was he hugged me really tight, and he said, “I don't know why I'm so emotional right now. I'm so sorry.” And for an older, Chinese man, like he doesn't normally act like that. I was like, “Oh my gosh. What I said actually had a really big impact on him.” It was really sweet, but I didn't realize it was kind of hidden. I didn't know that that would help both of us so much. So little things like that.
I also had some conversations with my mom because she was pretty hard on us growing up that I didn't feel super close to her in the way I wanted to. Like, she wasn't a mom that I would run to if I needed help emotionally with something. It wasn't the nurturing soft kind of mother that I was used to. Like I wish I had that. But she was more, she was always just practical. She was just like, I want you girls to be capable and survive. Like if I throw you out into the world, I want you to be able to take care of yourself. That was the kind of parenting I got from her, which I'm so grateful for because sometimes I see women who are not in that position. They don't feel empowered. They stay in relationships when they're abused verbally, emotionally, physically, they don't have the confidence to leave. My mom taught us, like, do not take sh** from anyone. Like make sure you're capable, make your own money so you have choices. And I really love that about her. However, the emotional side was missing a little bit. And so, for a while I resented her. There were years where I, to be honest, I didn't, I didn't like her.
And through my own healing too, and getting compassion, knowing everyone's just doing the best that they know how, that definitely was good for us. And I'm a lot more patient with her now. And, understanding. I think she did a fantastic job raising us. And I think wishing things were different with parents. I think if you wish in general, anything was different, you’re going to cause yourself a lot of pain. And so just accepting, like, this is mom, she's really good at this stuff, and she didn't have the capacity or the maturity at the time to know what we needed emotionally. And she admits that, she’s like, “I’m a lot more mature now. I know better now.” And so of course my niece and nephew, her grandkids get treated like super well. Now there's more awareness around. What's more normal these days, which is emotions, going to therapy, things that are normal for us, right. There's no shame in therapy, things like that. So, improving the relationship with my parents was a huge one. And then all my friendships kind of blossomed from there as well. I think those are starting points. They kind of set the tone of how you show up in relationships. So once you know how to improve those, it's a good stepping stone into applying that into your romantic life.
We have a lot of similarities. Everything that you were saying, I can identify with a lot of it. That's interesting. I agree. A lot of it. I mean, I think most of our stuff comes from our childhood and from our relationships with our parents. And it's interesting to hear you say all of this, because I hear that a lot, women who are attracted to unavailable men and it does, it always stems back to their parents or their relationships with their parents.
And I think it's interesting because a lot of women in their late twenties, thirties, forties, I mean, our fathers were from the generation where it wasn't normal for men to have their hearts open or to be emotionally vulnerable. You know, therefore a boys were learning to be emotionally unavailable from seeing their fathers and girls had this emotionally unavailable dad that just left them craving more, you know, craving that love. So it makes sense that these patterns are woven into our subconscious and then, you know, come out later in life, for example in our dating lives.
Absolutely. I mean, we naturally go towards what feels familiar to us. So if that feels familiar to you and it's in your nervous system, unpacking that it can take awhile to change your outlook on that. And what I hear a lot from women who do go after men who are emotionally unavailable, when one is available, they'll say it's boring, or there'll be like super turned off by him. Like he's actually showing up, but it is possible to rewire and reprogram yourself of what you find attractive. Because now if someone is emotionally unavailable, I find that so unattractive. Like that is not what I want. Stay far away.
Have you tried NLP?
I have not done NLP. I have a lot of friends who have done it. Have you done it?
No, I haven't. I want to, but it just reminded me of it whenever you were talking about rewiring your brain patterns and your thoughts. Because it's so hard to do. It's like, if you've been living this way and thinking this way for 20, 30, 40 years, and it's so engraved in your neural pathways, I feel like it takes a lot of work, like, it might take a team and years of work to be able to undo that. And I'm always curious how people were able to do that. You know, some people say they used plant medicine. Other people say, they used NLP. Some people say, like you, that they worked with a talk therapist and also a therapist that actually worked energy, you know, worked physically on their body and in energy. And some people say they used a combination of all of the above. So I'm always curious, what people used in order to make the shift.
Yeah. Different things work for different people. I do like staying curious. So with the plant medicine, I've heard amazing things about that, just because it opens your mind to see things from a different perspective. I personally haven't tried it yet. I'm a little scared too. I'm not opposed to it, but I think trying different things is a good idea. I mean, I've tried some things that I did not like where I felt like the teacher was too flowery and their message. I'm just like, I don't like this and that's okay. That’s what it takes. I also did this one thing where she was a shaman, but it was clear she was born and raised in LA and she changed her name. She had some Shimano and I was laying on a table, and she was spitting water on me. I went into it with curiosity, but whatever she was doing, it didn't work. (Laughter) But I was just in a point where I'm like, let me just try this. And it's kind of like dating too. You just kinda learn what works for you and what doesn't work for you. But I think as long as you're investing in yourself, that's already a good sign.
What's one piece of advice that you would give people for those that are wanting to break out of their old patterns and create new energy and create new habits in their dating lives?
Sure. So the first step is awareness. So if you're aware of the patterns, that’s step one, and then an easy way to start changing how you show up, this might sound silly, but just start doing little everyday things differently. For example, if you always cook your eggs scrambled, make it over easy. And some people are so rigid, they have a hard time just doing that. But I think doing things that are unfamiliar to you, going to restaurants you normally don't eat in, try it. Because I think also as you get older, it's easy to get really rigid. And so doing different things, moving in different ways. If you normally do spin class, maybe go to yoga, move in different ways. And I'm really into like when you're connected to your body and you move your body in new ways. I think it's really good for you. So I'm big on dance classes. And for a while, I was taking hip hop classes, which I think I look ridiculous doing because I'm more, I was trained in ballet and naturally I think it looks better for my body type, but I wanted to learn to move in a different way. And and it was really good for me. There were moments where I felt completely silly, but I just wanted to do something different. So I think if you want to get into the habit of changing things, start with the little things. And then of course, what would be more effective though, is the big things. Like if you're choosing the emotionally unavailable men, as soon as someone shows they're not emotionally available, that is when you say, okay, you accept that. And then you say, no. It's going to feel uncomfortable because you might feel like, am I making the right decision? Am I losing out? Should I be more patient with him? So just standing in your truth, like, no, I want to create this. And in order for me to create this, I have to say, no, I have to say no over here to create opportunity.
Perfect. I love that. I want to hear the story about how you met your husband.
So before I met my husband, I was dating. I was on the apps and in the end, I mean, I didn't care how I would meet my person. As long as they showed up. I thought to myself, if I'm happy, I'm happy. Who cares? But deep down, I did want a meet cute organic story. And lucky for me, I got it. I was waiting for an Uber in Venice beach and it was late. You see, in LA, you can get one within two minutes, one pops up, but it was late. And then we're looking on the map. I was with some girlfriends, we were having brunch and we see them circling, where's he going? And while we're waiting, two people walk around the corner and it was previous clients of mine. I had photographed their wedding a couple of years prior. And they said, “Chang! Chang, what are you doing here?” And I said, “Oh my gosh, it's great to see you.” And they said, “What are you doing? Well, why don't you join us? We're going to go to dinner inside Gjelina.” It's a popular restaurant in Venice beach. You know, like, “Why don't you come with us?” And they happened to be with three men who were gorgeous. I was like, what's going on? Like, these guys are super hot, but I didn't want to look eager. By the way, those three… my husband was not one of the three men, But I knew I was interested, but I didn't want to look desperate. So I was kind of thinking of a way, how do I say yes without being overeager and I lucky that I was with girlfriends who, you know, we could communicate with each other just by our eyeball looks. So they said, “Why don't you join them? We're going to go home.” And so I joined them and there was one more person who I hadn’t met yet, who was sitting at the table, and that was Pete. And so I looked down at him and there was an instant. I was like, Oh, this guy is different. Like, all these guys are good looking, but this one feels very calm. The other ones were the anxiety, like that kind of guy, like the hot soccer player, like that guy. But this one, I was like, Oh, this one, this one seems homey though. And so Pete was sitting next to me during dinner and he just kept asking me tons of questions. He wasn't talking to anyone else at the table that night. I knew this guy was interested in me. And then after dinner, he said, “Oh, how'd you get here?” I said, “Oh, I took an Uber.” And Pete offered me a ride home. And typical me, like, no, of course I wanted to be independent. I'm like, “No, no, I'll call an Uber.” And my friend shoots me a look. And she says, “Let Pete drive you home.” So I said, “Okay.” And he drove me home. And then he said, “So I'd love to take you out to dinner.” He was very clear on what he wanted. And I liked that too, but actually it did scare me. I was like, Oh my goodness. This is what I wanted, but it is a little scary. This guy is telling me he's interested in me and he wants to take me to dinner. So I gave him my business card and it didn't have my phone number, but it had my email, but I was waiting for his email. And three days later I was waiting for it. And I knew what he was doing. I'm like, he's doing that three day thing. And he emailed me. And again, he said, “I would love to take you out to dinner.” And I said, “Yes.” And that is how we met.
I love that. I love this story just because I feel like it's so important to stay open. I feel like a lot of people would have said no to that spontaneous dinner invitation, myself included.
Yeah! What if I didn't say yes or what if my friends didn't encourage me to say yes. And, if I had left then, I wouldn't have met Pete. So yeah, I think staying open is important. And you know, you might not meet your life partner by staying open and going out, but you can meet a lot of awesome people, you know? Like they don't have to be “the one.” Even doing activities that you like to do. You know, like if you like taking dance classes, at least you'll meet really cool people who like doing what you do. So I usually give that piece of advice too, is do the things that light you up, that make you really happy, because then it kind of puts you in alignment with just feeling good, because you want to feel good. I think about the times that I would get hit on the most when I was single. It was usually when I was working, when I was photographing weddings. Because I was confident, I was in the zone doing my thing. Or it was when I was on the dance floor. And not necessarily because I'm a good dancer. It’s because I enjoy myself on the dance floor and people are drawn to that. So think about the times that you feel good, like what puts you into alignment? What makes you happy, and do those things.
That's such great advice. Is that why whenever you're dating someone there’s always like three or four other guys that come into the picture at the same time?!
Yes! You feel good. So you're a magnet and those guys, some of them, they come back, you know, it happens. They know. It’s like, “Oh, she's feeling good. She's in a good place.”
How long did it take from the point where you started where you started self worked up until the point where you met your husband?
It was like five and a half years. Yeah. I did have a boyfriend in my twenties who was a great guy. I think it was a great relationship for my twenties. I was a different person, you know, I was still learning. But after that relationship is kind of when it went downhill. That’s when I really started choosing men that were not good for me.
Yeah. So five years of personal growth. I did a lot of traveling during this time too. I think travel is a great way to learn about yourself, getting out of your bubble and seeing that people do things differently and there's no right or wrong way, there’s so many ways to do something. And so I like being put in different cultures and learning. I think it's really easy to get stuck in your ways. So my goal is to open my mind.
Number one, feel good, enjoy myself. Be happy because if you feel good, I mean, who cares what your external circumstances are? Because some people, they do meet their person. They get married and they're not happy. You know, I'm like, what, what is the point of that? Then for me, my goal, I want to feel good. Whether I have a person there or not. And I did get to that point to where I wanted to be in a relationship. I wanted to be married, but I was also okay without it too. The desperation basically went away, which I think the desperation was also causing me to not date. Well, I mean, people pick up on that so fast. Even if you try to hide it, right. You can't hide that energy. People feel it. And I've talked to a lot of men on my podcast, which has been interesting to hear it from their side. And one of them recently said, I asked him, “What's up with the pullback when men pursue and they set the tone and then they pull back?”One of my listeners had asked that. So I asked him and he said that normally it could be like something came up where they could sense things, desperation. And that is something I used to do to people too. Like even if I was trying to play it cool, people can pick up on that. And so it's like, Oh, I know what I was doing. And also not being hard on myself about it, like, Oh, you messed us up. So as I dated more, I was clear on my goal to just feel good and have fun because that is actually what dating is supposed to be. Not this thing of like, I need to get this right. If I don't get it right then I'm a failure. It puts a lot of pressure on you.
Yeah. I'm so glad you're talking about this. It's so important. It's so simple, but it's so important because your energy shines through and people pick up on that immediately.
Yes. Yes. And I'm sure you tell your clients this because your clients are looking for love. Right. They hire you because they're looking for that. And I think it's okay to look for it, but to feel good about looking for it. And like you said, it's much easier said than done. Right? So that was always my goal. And I did have off nights as well, where I felt anxious or not good, but I knew what my goal was. I'm like, my goal is to feel good. So let me try to get into this place where I feel good.
What kind of chemistry did you and your husband have when you first met?
It was very, calm and it was home. That's the best way that I can describe it. And when I was photographing weddings, I was kind of doing homework on myself. I would just kind of observe different couples dynamics and what felt appealing to me, and the ones that felt the most appealing to me were the couples where I could tell they were best friends. There was a quiet comfort between them. Like they could be side to side, not saying anything and there's just that comfort. And that's what I sought out. And so with Pete, that's the kind of chemistry we have. And that's what I was looking for, I wanted to feel at home. I wanted to feel safe. I wanted ease. I wanted this relationship to be somewhere I go to, to be recharged because I felt like life has enough challenges.
I don't need my main relationship to be the source, like the main source of challenges in life. And if I feel good, if I feel safe, and I feel like the best version of me with this person, then I could go out into the world and shine and create new businesses and do all that. That was what I was looking for. So that is important to know when you're looking for relationship is to ask yourself, “What is the purpose of this relationship to me? Do I want a best friend dynamic? What are those important components?” That purpose is important because if you're not on the same page of what the purpose is, that relationship won't last long term and that purpose could be anything. I mean, you meet some couples that are, it's like, okay, I'm going to be your sugar daddy, and I'm going to pay for everything, and you just let me do what I want to do. And it works out fantastic because both people are on the same page, this is what the relationship dynamic is. And also arranged marriages and certain cultures like Indian culture. They work fantastic because everyone's on the same page of why you're getting married. This is for the families and everyone agrees on that. And so for my husband and I, our purpose is to support each other and we're both very independent as well. So it's like give each other space, like you do you, but we come together and we support each other when it's good and it works out. So we're very compatible, which makes it easy as well. I think if you're looking for ease, someone who has similar core values is a good thing to look at.
This has reminded me of one part of your book where you're talking about one of your friends, I believe her name was Leslie. You're talking about the dynamic between her and her husband, which I thought was really interesting because I actually just went through this struggle myself in my own relationship. You talked about how philosophy was very important to her, but her husband did not like talking philosophy. And so she had to go out and she created this community or group of friends where she could talk philosophy, which I think is such an important point because in my relationship with Diego, my boyfriend, my fiancé now, I felt like I was doing the same thing that so many of us do. It's putting so much pressure on the relationship. It’s expecting them to be everything, you know, like your passionate lover, your intellectual equal, your best friend, like all of these things that you use to get from a community. And now you're expecting to get it from this one person. And I was doing that same exact thing. And I was in this loop, this negative loop, you know, and then as soon as I realized I was doing that, I was like, It's actually healthy to have your needs met from different people, from your friends, from your family, from your community. That was a huge shift for me.
Oh, that's great. And it's completely normal to have those thoughts too. And I think it can be disappointing like, Oh, I wish we had this or that, you know, we love to talk in this way. Actually, I had the same thoughts about my husband. The way we talk is not the way I talk to some of my friends about business where it's super inspirational and we're bouncing ideas around, you know, but that's okay. Like that's good. Sometimes I wish, you know, but, but I'm like, you know what? It wasn't a deal breaker for me. And it's funny talking about my friend, Leslie and Kevin, all the friends that were role models for me in terms of their marriage. My marriage turned out to be very similar to theirs, because I was looking at her like, what are they doing? And I actually ended up doing what they did.
So I think if I never had that with Leslie, I might've thought to myself like, Oh, this might not work out with Pete because we don't talk in this way. But I realized with Leslie and her husband, Kevin, they have such a great marriage and she's like, It's okay that we don't talk in that way. Like he loves me so much and I feel really good with him. And so for me, that was one of the most important things for me too, is my partner showing up emotionally for me, like when I'm on my death bed, what are the things I'm gonna really be thinking about? And it’s that devotion. I didn't know it was possible to love Pete the way that I do. It’s different from the romantic love I was used to, I mean, this is the kind of love where if I was in the hospital and I needed my bed pan changed, he would happily do it. And it's so funny. Like I get teary thinking about that, like that he's just there and just so supportive and accepting and, you just feel like in your most vulnerable state, safe with them, it feels really, really nice.
And to be honest, once you're married, there are parts of it that feel boring and any therapist will tell you, that's actually a good sign because it's reliable. It's predictable. It's not someone who says one thing, and does the other. I did not want that. And you know, I wanted someone who was very stable and so that does come with time. Sometimes it does feel boring and that's okay. However, it's good to be clear on what you're looking for too, because if you're in a place where you just want passion all the time, that's okay too, then go, go look for that. It's out there for you. But if you do want a long-term committed relationship, it's different. It comes with stability, reliability. And so I think it also takes an effort when I'm learning what I'm learning now that I'm married is how do you keep that passion alive, you know, to keep it interesting. Otherwise it can easily just turn into, we’re roommates or friends, right. I've heard that a lot from people who have been married many years. So I think it's important to keep checking in with each other and, and making that effort. And I think the difference with marriage taking work, as they say, is the ease. I feel like if you choose the right partner, you're happy to do these things. It doesn't feel draining. It's more that you want to do these things. Where I feel like if you're with someone who's not the best fit for you, it will feel really draining.
How do you keep the passion alive?
So doing new things is one of the ways that we like to do it. I mean, it's hard right now, but travel usually is important and it is really easy to want to go to the same restaurants and do all that. So we really try our best to try new things. And also staying curious, because people change too. I think a healthy relationship habit is to always approach your partner with curiosity, not assuming that you know everything about them. Things can change. Maybe they used to like pancakes, then they don't like them anymore. People are allowed to change. And it's actually, I think a good thing if they change, but not assuming that you know them, and there’s times that I'm very, very aware of that. And I approach our conversations with curiosity that sparks the romance again. So it takes practice.
And I have told Pete actually like, nothing's been wrong in our relationship, but I asked him, “Would you ever be up for therapy or counseling or things like that?” Because I think it's a good habit to have. And also having a neutral person to facilitate certain conversations, maybe asking things a certain way. It's a good habit to have, because I think if you are on autopilot and you don't check in with each other, this is when you hear that couples start growing apart and if you don't do any work to check in, sometimes you can grow apart so much that it can be really hard to come back together. Whereas if you're constantly checking in, you can make those adjustments as you're going. So he's at he's open to it, which is great. And he's not as into personal growth as me. He's just a very happy guy. He's very content. He's very simple. He doesn't need a lot of stimulation where I'm usually the one who wants new things. Let's travel here. He's so happy at his job. He has his friends here in Venice beach. He bikes to see them. He loves gardening, but he's open to it, which that was very important to me. Someone who's open to growth. I used to think like, Oh, my partner has to already be going to these conferences. And I realized that's actually not a deal breaker. But I think the desire for introspection and to want to do better, and that openness is more important.
We have so many similarities.
Do you find that your clients are similar to the women who are very career oriented, type A, because there is a compatibility thing of what tends to work. And a lot of my girlfriends who are the more type A ones, they're busy, their partners tend to be more type B because it's better from a compatibility standpoint. Do you find that that's true as well?
Yeah, but it's kind of funny, because a lot of our female clients, they want someone that's more driven than they are normally. Like they'll be like, “I want someone that's either on the same financial level or someone that's higher, and someone that's very driven in their education, very driven in their career, and then also makes this amount of money.” Like all of the boxes checked. But we've found that they do clash a lot of the time. Yeah.
Yes. Have you ever seen a couple where both partners are type A and it works well?
Yes, but they find ways to keep that part out of the relationship. So maybe they're very compatible in other areas and maybe, for example, if they're both very type A in their career, they will not have that be the center point, or the focal point of their relationship because they might be competitive over that aspect.
Right. Right. And what you said is very common, that women, they tend to want someone like, it'd be nice if he made more money, he has to be smarter than me. I hear that a lot. And I get those desires because intrinsically I have those desires as well. However, I'm like, You're a super smart, capable person, like to expect them to be smarter and better than you at everything, that is an unrealistic expectation. Women are so capable now. But I understand that feeling. For example, like my husband, when I put this example in my book, I think is he was changing a light bulb, like a recess light bulb. And I knew how to do it, but I didn't want to say anything. And he did it where he shattered the whole thing. I thought it was just such a stupid thing to do. I was like, why would you think that's a good idea to pull that whole thing down? Like my ovaries shriveled as it was happening. But really, I was like, Oh my God, just don't say anything. The old me would have criticized him for it and emasculated him. I don't know everything. If I had never done it before either maybe I would have tried to pull the whole tube down. I don't know. Actually, no, I don't think I would've because women's brains are different. I would've wiggled it, whereas he is a linear thinker, like I just need to pull this tube out and just shatter everything.
I'm definitely a lot more compassionate now. People are just human and the truth is women are very capable now. And so you just have to be understanding of course, knowing what's really important to you. Like if you really do need those kinds of conversations, like intellectually stimulating, if you want that from your partner, then that's what you're looking for. Acknowledge that, that’s okay. But I think choosing the few that are important to you, like must have’s and the rest, I think it's good to be a little bit flexible on that.
So important. And that just takes time. Right? Like a lot of people don't know what they're looking for in a relationship or what they need in a relationship or what's good for them in a relationship. So I feel like that just takes a lot of time and self reflection to figure out what's important.
Yeah. And also being in relationship to, I'm still learning a lot about myself being married. I learned things like, Oh I do like this or, Oh, I don't like this. I'm still learning forever. Like you'll forever be learning. So once you get married, it's not like all of a sudden like, Oh I have this figured out. Maybe in 5 to 10 years when I have more experience being married. We have been together five and a half years now, so maybe I'll write another book of everything I learned.
But for now what I do know, what my current book is about, is how to start feeling good in dating to create the relationship of your dreams. Like it doesn't have to feel like a chore. It doesn't have to be super painful. It can be fun and how to put yourself in a situation to create that. And I was so proud of myself for figuring that out. It was like, I did it. And like you said, it sounds so simple now, right. But again, when you're in it and going through those motions, it could be really frustrating and painful. So that was one of my goals too. And that's one of the biggest compliments that I've gotten from my book is like, thank you so much for not making me feel alone because I feel crazy right now. And especially if you're a high achiever and you're good at stuff, I think it could feel really embarrassing or humiliating or like your failure. If you can't get this one part of your life to work, like what's wrong with me? I think that was the main thing I kept asking myself, like, is there something wrong with being like, what is so difficult?
Where can people find out more about you and what you're doing? Your podcast, your blog, your book, and everything.
Sure. So everything's linked on my website. It's christinechang.com. My Instagram is @cchangandco. So I post a lot of inspirational quotes and relationship tips on there. And my podcast is called Show Up with Christine Chang. It's available on Apple, Spotify, wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you so much.
I loved it so much. Good stuff in here.
Thank you. That was fun.