Dr Shannon Gulbranson - Date Yourself Well

023: Why Every Woman Should Be Dating Herself – Dr. Shannon Gulbranson

Dr. Shannon Gulbranson is the author of Date Yourself Well: The Bestselling 12 Engagements of Becoming the Great Lover of Your Life and founder and C.E.O. (Caring Empowered Owner) of Healing Life Coaching, Inc. She’s hosted a daily podcast for the past two years called Women Sipping on Life. Serving thousands of patients for over two decades in private practice, as well as one of the leading cancer hospitals in the world, she has become an expert in engaging the head + heart and healing the heart + soul.

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Why women (and men) should be dating themselves.
  • Five engagements of a great lover.
  • How every truth has two different perspectives.
  • How to love yourself in all conditions unconditionally.

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Interview Transcript

Dr. Shannon, thank you so much for taking time to hang with me today.

Absolutely, thank you for the invitation. I appreciate it.

Let’s talk about dating ourselves. I know I’ve probably dated myself, but maybe I just wasn’t as intentional as I’m hearing that you want me to be. I know your book is written more for women, but I’m going to read it anyway. I’ve already been reading through it. Why do you think it’s so important for women, and even men, to date themselves?

If you think about it, how do you meet people and how do you fall in love? The answer is, you date them. So, it’s no different than when you’re having a relationship with someone else; if we don’t date ourselves, how are we going to know ourselves? And if we don’t know ourselves, how are we going to fall in love with ourselves and really truly be able to love others? Because it’s how we love ourselves, that we love others. 

It’s vital for all humans to learn how to date themselves. And you mentioned, maybe you’ve been doing it, but not consciously. I think it’s important to be very, very intentional about it. It’s not like you have to sit down and sit across from yourself every day and share a nice meal. But it’s really that conscious intention of saying, “Hey, you know what? I’m going to get to know you. And as I get to know you, there’s going to be more to explore and more to experience.” And that’s really how we can fall in love with our lives. 

I come from a faith background and part of what you’re saying, rubs against a part of me that says if I love myself in that way, I’m somehow being egotistical. That I’m somehow making it all about me, and instead it should be about other people. But on the other hand, as you said, how can we love other people, if we don’t first love ourselves? That’s part of what you’re saying, right?

Absolutely, and you have hit on a really big topic, David. People tend to think that this idea is very selfish. I’m also faith based. I’m a follower of Jesus, so I read the word and the second commandment, besides loving God, is that we love others as we love ourselves. So, especially for people of faith that know that, we tend to forget that and really, that’s the most vital thing. How can we love another if we don’t love ourselves? And really, how can we love ourselves if we don’t love and know God? It’s in our DNA. Love is in our DNA. 

The whole idea of self-care; people think, “Oh, that’s selfish.” But how can you go out and pour into another cup, if you’re empty? So really, it’s one of the most selfless things that we can do. Instead of saying, “Hey, I’m just here to serve everyone else.” For one, that’s not really true. Because people that do that, they end up burning and crashing and then it serves no one, including the greater good. I learned that the hard way. All this, it didn’t come from just an idea and it didn’t come from just reading the word, I can tell you that. It came from crashing and burning and finding out that there has to be another way to do this. I was broken. At least I felt broken. I felt empty. I felt like I had given everything. And then where do you turn? You turn to the one that gave you life and love and you say, “Alright, there’s got to be another way.”

When I met my wife, I wanted to be around her all the time. I wanted to ask her questions and I wanted to do fun things with her. Part of it was new and exciting, of course. But there was a genuine interest in getting to know her. So, you’re expanding my mind to say, “Alright, if I’m going to learn to love myself at a deeper level, that means that I want to get to know myself.” Why would you say that I don’t already know myself? I’ve been in this body a long time; how would I not already know myself?

Great question. First of all, kind of like when we fall in love with someone else, we get to a place in the relationship where we think we know everything about them. The reality is, we are constantly growing and evolving as people and to really experience the fullness of the life that we have, it’s a constant and never-ending process of learning and re-learning and un-learning. So, when we get into this idea that, “Oh, I know myself,” that’s a problem. Because if you fully know yourself, then you’ve stopped looking for more to know and you’ve stopped exploring and discovering yourself. I believe we’re all here on planet Earth to do exactly that; grow and expand and then express that. It’s vital.

Think about this. You could sit next to somebody for the next hundred years and not know them. You could be with somebody and know certain things about them, but never know them. So, we can be with ourselves and really never be with ourselves, especially when we never spend any time in that quietness of saying, “What do I like?” “What do I not like?” And sometimes the view of our self is based on the experiences through other people’s views and expectations and shoulds and woulds and coulds. So, it’s vital. It is vital and it is a game changer. It is a life changer. 

So much of life can be like that. That question of, “How much am I trying to live up to my family or home or origin?” Or, if I have a strong life partner or spouse, am I trying to please him or her? Even trying to please my kids, I’ve got to fit into a mold to fit into what they want me to do. That’s really powerful. 

Alright, so I know in the book, you talk about some lies or some syndromes that people are prone to buy into while we’re in this process of learning to love ourselves and love other people. Can you break those down for me?

Absolutely. The first one, I call it the “Cinderella Syndrome”. Whether you’re a woman or a man, there’s this idea that somehow there’s going to be this moment where Prince Charming comes and sweeps you off your feet. Or, you’re going to find the princess that’s going to be the perfect princess and we’re going to ride off into the sunset. Really, that’s not how it works. In the book, I talk about the whole Cinderella Syndrome and what happens when the glass stiletto shatters. Really, do you want to be swept off your feet or do you want to learn how to stand on your feet and walk in your Cinderella slippers?

So, this whole idea that there’s going to be a Mr. Right or a Miss. Right, the bottom line is, am I willing to be Miss. Right for that Mr. Right that I’m waiting for? Am I willing to give myself the understanding and to give myself the attention and the love, so that I can be that to myself and someone else? I think that’s a big part of it, and we buy into the lie that somehow someone else is going to complete us.

I liked how you asked in the book, “What happens when Prince Charming turns into Prince Harming?”

Exactly. Or when we’re with our princess and all of a sudden, it’s like, “Oh my gosh, she’s kind of a witch.” Well, we all have that within us. When we start to really embrace and acknowledge both the dark and light within us, we are then able to do that for others. But if we stand in this place that somehow, “I’ve got all of it right and I’m going to expect Mr. Right to get it all right and never disappoint me,” we get into this idea that everything has to be a certain way. Which again, is not allowing for our growth and our discovery and it also puts us in a place of judgement. 

So now, we find ourselves judging the person we’re with because we’re judging ourselves and it becomes a real mess. Everybody is trying to perform to what we think the world says is “perfect” or “great” and “good” or “right”. And then everybody is saying, “But this isn’t even true.” So, the lies that people buy into and all the lies that we believe in our heads; that somehow somebody else is responsible for my happiness, it just can’t be that way. That’s not the truth.

The second one that you talk about is “Disengagement Syndrome”. Break that down for me.

So, what usually happens – and this happened in my own life, is that you go through life and you have these disappointments and then you start to pull back and think, “Gosh, maybe it’s not what I thought it should be.” All of a sudden, you find yourself pulling further and further away from your dreams, your desires and those that really love you. You are thinking, “I’ve been hurt. Who can I trust?” And so, people – and I did this too; I started pulling into this place and my world became a little bit smaller and a little bit smaller and I ended up disengaging. I was no longer fully expressing in my life. 

I believe there are nine primary areas of life that we start to pull back from. And then what happens is, we get disengaged. And then eventually – and this isn’t for everybody, but we can experience what I call “a divorced heart”. Eventually, a lot of times this leads to actual divorce or breakups and broken relationships. I really believe it comes from that broken relationship that we have with ourselves. 

The disengagement starts subtle. It starts with disappointment and then moves into disengagement and then eventually we become fully disengaged. The next thing you know, your head and your heart aren’t even connecting and you’re not connecting with your life anymore. You’re not connecting with your dreams and your soul purpose. And then all of a sudden, nobody seems to fill that void for you. And all of a sudden, you’re kicked to the curb or you have physical divorce that you’re dealing with. And this makes a disengagement even more intense. It’s this vicious cycle, and I got caught in that. 

One day I realized that it was time. It was time for me to follow my heart. It wasn’t even something I planned, but it was after my last divorce; I was sitting in dark, in the middle of the night and I literally felt like I heard the voice of God in my heart. What I heard was, “Shannon, do you love yourself?” And I sat there and I couldn’t speak. I don’t even know how much time passed, but for me to be speechless, it doesn’t happen. I sat there and I didn’t know what to say or what to do, because my mind was racing. I was thinking, “Well of course I love myself, because I don’t hate myself, right?” But what I had forgotten was, the opposite of love isn’t hate. The opposite of love is fear. I had so much fear and I was so disconnected. I had a divorced heart and I’m sitting there unable to answer. All of a sudden, I heard, “It’s okay, I understand. Because in order to love you, you must know you. And in order to know you, you must spend time with you.” I’m sitting here thinking, “Okay, well then what?” And I heard, “Date yourself. Date yourself well. Stop accepting what you do not desire.” 

I was spending so much time dealing with all these things and all these stories in my mind about, “This is the way I should be,” or “This is the way it has to be.” So finally, I said, “Alright, I’m not going to accept anything that I don’t desire anymore. And I am going to pursue myself like never before. Not to fall in love with someone else. Not so that somebody else can fall in love with me or to track Mr. Right.” I was like, “I’m going all in.” And let me tell you, it has been such an incredible adventure and such an incredible journey. So that’s why I wrote the book. 

I started because I went to the internet and I looked up “self-love”; scary. Don’t do that. And especially back when I wrote the book, there was nothing, except all the stuff you wouldn’t want to be looking at. And then looking up “date yourself”, it wasn’t even there. And so, I said, “What would this mean to me?” And then thought, “I’m going to start with what I would do if I was dating someone else. I would sit down and I would meet them.” So, I literally met myself there in the dark. And it was the beginning of a whole new experience and a whole new way of defining and re-defining love and what that looks like to me. I truly do recommend it for everyone.

So, the premise of this book; let’s see if I get this right. Essentially, we can’t find that kind of love in someone else and we can’t accept Mr. or Miss. Right to come into our lives because we have unmet expectations. But also, if we’re disengaged from our own heart and if we’re disengaged from our own passions and interests; one, we’re not going to be able to love ourselves and two, it’s going to prevent us from loving someone else. So, in order to be fully present, fully loving someone, we must first love ourselves. And in order to love ourselves, we need to date ourselves. Did I get that right? Is that pretty close?

Beautiful, well said. And you know, it’s in the dating of ourselves that of course, as we’re expressing who we are, we share ourselves. We share ourselves with other people. Sometimes people go, “Oh my gosh, that’s a book just for single people, right?” And no, in fact a lot of my readers are men and a lot of my readers are married. One woman said to me, “Oh my gosh, this has changed my relationship with my husband.” She’s no longer looking and being so needy on him to make her feel validated. She’s getting her validation from herself and her S.O.L. date – her sipping on life date. Getting to know herself and getting to know what true love really is and what it feels like. 

Now, as you know, it’s in other relationships that we learn even more about ourselves. So, this isn’t simply sitting there being selfish and doing everything self-centered. It’s saying, “No, you know what? I am, so therefore, I will.” And it’s like I said, it’s been really truly miraculous. Not only in my life, but in the lives of the people that I’m sharing this new perspective with.

Okay, I know there’s a couple more lies, but I want to get into these five engagements of a great lover. And by the way, at the end of the podcast we’re going to give listeners a URL to get your book for free. They will only have to pay for shipping and handling. So, hang in there until the end and we’ll give you that URL. 

Can you walk us through this second part of the book? The five engagements of a great lover. Break this down for me. What’s engagement number one?

Absolutely, so the first one is meeting you. That’s absolutely number one. You must meet you. You meet you and you find out, “What do you like? What do you not like?” These simple things that we think, “Oh, yeah, of course.” But we never really consciously witness that for ourselves to say, “I like that.”

How do I do that?

By paying attention and being aware. It’s really the ultimate self-awareness. If you look at the word “awareness”, it’s A-WAR-NESS. We have a war going on within ourselves, “I know I shouldn’t do this. I should do this.” We have all these should about everything. Stop shoulding on yourself, and start being aware of what feels right for you, what works for you, how you feel and also when you feel most alive. It’s meeting you. 

The second one is, knowing you. Because once you meet yourself, then you begin to know yourself and you begin to really pay attention to, not only how you feel, but you can start to understand where your feelings are coming from. You start to have the deeper conversations with yourself, and sometimes it’s the most simple questions that can have the most profound impact. The simple question of, “Is that true?” So often, we spend so much time in our heads rationalizing and shoulding on ourselves; telling stories about what think is the truth, but we never actually acknowledge what the truth really is in the moment.

Give me an example of how we can use that question to get to know ourselves better?

One of the greatest things that I’ve learned in the process of dating myself has been, if it can’t be interpreted at least two different ways, it’s probably not true. And what I mean by that is, I think of truth as circular. It’s a full 360.  Right now, if there were other people in your studio, what they are seeing is very different from what you’re seeing. Right now, I’m seeing something different than what you’re seeing, but both of what we’re seeing is true. What happens is, people get stuck on one side of the truth and they see it only from their perspective. 

Oftentimes, we get so stuck in this black and white, right and wrong, good and bad and we never say, “You know what? What if I were to allow myself to look at all of this? Maybe the reason why that person looked at me that way, isn’t because they’re judging me. Maybe it’s because I’m judging myself right now and I don’t feel like enough. And maybe there’s something going on in their life.”  So, once we start to see everything from a bigger perspective and from a full 360, my goodness, it frees us up to live truly from our hearts, because we’re not so stuck in our heads. 

Okay, so first we need to meet ourselves. That’s engagement number one. Know yourself is engagement number two. What’s engagement number three?

Value you. To truly value you and realize that no matter what you’re learning about yourself, no matter what you come to know about yourself, to know that you have value and you are valuable. I call it “being valuably free”. When you think about the word “responsibility”, it’s the ability to respond. And so, whatever it is that we’re uncovering and discovering, we have the ability to respond to that and to make decisions based on that. And in our lives and in my life, to all of the listeners, we all have been given this beautiful gift of life and we are the most valuable thing in it. 

If you were writing a screenplay and you’ve written out the script, the leading person in that play is the most important. Nobody can do this for my life, except me. Nobody can play Shannon, except Shannon. Nobody can play David, except David. If we don’t put ourselves in the leading role, then why are we playing all these other roles? At that point, I’m giving a counterfeit. So, we start to see that the value and the position and the seat that we have in our own lives, is the most valuable position. 

Now, I’m not saying that I’ve put myself above God, but I am saying it’s God and then it’s Shannon. And it used to be God and everybody else, and then Shannon. I was like, “Who is Shannon anyway?” Even though from the outside it looked like I had it all going on, that’s because I was out here serving everybody else. I was giving everybody what I thought they needed or what I thought they should have. I wasn’t ever asking myself some of the deeper questions. We are the most valuable position in our lives. I can’t play anybody else’s role. They can’t play my role. I have to really own my own lane, own my feelings and not project them onto anyone else by saying, “It’s your fault.” No. What’s my responsibly here? When we start to own that, we become what I call, “valuably free”. And that’s powerful. 

By the way, you are quite the wordsmith. You love words.

I do.

You love words and you twist words to create this new nuance and these 360 degree meanings of a word. You’re out of control Dr. Shannon.

Completely, and I know this about myself. And what’s funny, I don’t try to be that way.

I love that.

I’ve spent a lot of time reading the dictionary and when I see a word like “know”, K-N-O-W; I will go look that word up, even though you and I both know what “know” means.” Oh, my goodness, you’ll start to get a different perspective about words. So, I’m a wordsmith and its part of my gift here to planet Earth, I guess.

I love it. That’s so fun. Okay, so I’m meeting myself. I’m knowing myself. I’m valuing myself. What’s the fourth engagement?

Being yourself. We must be ourselves. Another wordsmithing here, the word “better” – I’m kind of over better. Kind of like I’m over, potential. Do you know how many people are getting better every day, but they’re still S-I-C-K? And people are seeking better, better, better. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars travelling all over the world, trying to be better. And I kept thinking, “Well, okay, if I just learn this, then I’ll fix myself.” Or, “If I just do this, then I’ll be loveable.” That whole mentality is what perpetuates the epidemic of this not enough-ness. I gave up on being better a long time ago. 

Then I was like, “Oh, I’m into best.” And then I realized one day, I was thinking, “What the heck is best?” Because quite honestly, sometimes best looks like this; simply getting out of bed. I re-defined best a long time ago, to “Being Excellent Starting Today”. One day I said, “You know what? What really is the best version of Shannon?” And I’m thinking, “It’s the true version of Shannon.” So, what is the true version of Shannon? That takes me back to engagement one, engagement two and engagement three. I said, “Both best and better start with B for a reason.” If we desire to expand, grow and become – that’s another one; B – become better, become our best, you’ve got to be honest with who you are. Be her, be him and fully occupy that space that nobody else can for you. And let me tell you, being takes on a whole new meaning. 

And the last engagement, give it to me.

Love yourself. Plain and simple, right there, it’s to truly love ourselves. And I haven’t actually made this public yet, but I am taking back what I’ve said up until this point about unconditional love. Years ago, when I finally realized I had this unconscious belief that I wasn’t loveable, I didn’t know it. But as soon as I started seeking it and as soon as I gave my heart permission to show me, that unconscious belief came out. I was like, “Oh my gosh, I don’t believe that!” I decided it was time to try on a new belief. So, I did. And wow, life has completely changed since then. 

I remember I called my mom and I said, “Mom, oh my gosh. I’ve been seeking unconditional love from another person. And I’ve been seeking to be a priority in someone else’s life.” It was then that I realized and heard the voice of God in my heart say, ‘Shannon, are you a priority in your own life?’” I answered quickly, “No, I’m not.” But I do have unconditional love. God showed me that, “I love you unconditionally. You are made in the DNA of me. You are unconditional love.” So, until now, that’s been my stance on unconditional love. 

Recently I had this revelation about unconditional love. I don’t think there is any such thing, except from the love we get from God. Because of this, unconditional love requires true love. It requires that we love in all conditions. This idea of unconditional love is BS, because you know what? I believe the full expression of love and truth is loving in all conditions. But in all conditions, this idea that I need to become ten pounds lighter or a hundred pounds lighter. It’s the idea that I need to be thinner or more successful, that I need to have more money or get the guy. There’s all this ridiculous stuff that we as humans tell ourselves, in order to really love ourselves. Well, it starts with loving yourself in all conditions. And when we begin to love ourselves in all conditions, now that’s true love.

Loving ourselves in all conditions, unconditionally. That expands it out beyond this idea of simply, “I’m going to love you unconditionally,” until the person that you’re with starts doing some crazy stuff. Then you’re like, “I don’t really love you right now, but I’m going to choose you in this moment and I’m going to choose the authentic version of you.” And when that happens, love changes. It transforms.

I know in your book; you give us some ideas and you go into great detail. So, people definitely need to get it to understand the richness and the depth of how to date themselves. But if I were to say, “Okay, Dr. Shannon. I want to try this on. I want to date myself.” I’m hearing the concepts of the engagements and the next steps; meeting myself, knowing myself, valuing myself, being myself, loving myself. What does that look like? Does it look like setting aside time every week? Is it going on a walk? Give us some examples of how I can tangibly date myself.

It’s really about getting connected and staying connected with ourselves and our hearts. So, really locating where we are. In another book I wrote, “Step one, you’ve got to really locate yourself.” But before locating ourselves, it’s about exposing ourselves. It’s a matter of being willing to get truly honest with ourselves and then locating ourselves and saying, “Alright, where am I?” I take people through a very incredible process of finding out really how engaged or disengaged you are. And if you would like, I can take you through it right now? 

Go for it.

There are nine key areas. So, you’ll sit down with a piece of paper and a pen and if you’re driving, make sure you wait until you pull over to do this. The first thing is, you’re going to rate everything from one to ten. Let your heart speak: 

  • Love. Give yourself a rating of one to ten. 
  • Spirituality and the spiritual aspects of your life. Give it a rating of one to ten. 
  • Self. Your self-care and everything that has to do with you. Give it a rating of one to ten. 
  • Time. How are you relating to time? How is your time? A lot of times people say time management is a problem. Well, I don’t believe it’s necessarily meant to be managed. It’s meant to be lived well. So, let’s look at that and say, “Alright, time. One to ten.” 
  • Thoughts and our thought lives. On the outside people see what they see, but what’s going on inside of our thoughts? That’s what we become eventually, right? So, what would you rate your thoughts, one to ten?
  • Growth. How would you rate the level of growth in your life right now? How much time and attention are you giving to your personal growth? 
  • Life’s work. Sometimes people ask, “What does that mean? Does that mean a job?” Well, for some people it can. I think our life’s work is an expanded version of J-O-B, but it’s your life’s work. Rate it one to ten. 
  • Finances. How are you with your money and wealth and everything related to finances? Take a look at that and rate it one to ten. 

And last but not least, believe it or not, this is usually the one that gets the lowest score.

  • Fun. On a scale of one to ten, how does fun rate in your life?

I’ll tell you why fun usually gets the lowest score. It’s because people think they’ve got to get one to eight all together, before they take time for F-U-N. And if you really want to see ultimate function and higher levels of function in your life, you’ve got to start with the F-U-N.  You’ve got to start with fun. It’s interesting because, when I interview or meet really high powered leaders, a lot of my clients and especially my one on one clients; success is really dependant on that, “How much fun are you having in your life? Are you really loving your life well?” 

So, now you take all of these nine and you add them up; 90 is full engagement. So, for all of you who are doing this right now, you’re going to add them up and you’re going to give yourself a score. Now, I’ll tell you how to give yourself the rating. Now this isn’t final score, but it’s the score we’re starting with. If you scored 45 or less, this indicates disengagement. If you scored yourself with a 45 to 63, this is somewhat engaged. With a 63 to 90, this shows engagement. 

If you really want to go all in, you can take it to 11 for each of them and get to 99. I believe 100 is only fully available for after we pass beyond this earthly life. But having said that, I go through and explain all of this in an e-book I wrote. It’s a free e-book that people might be interested in as well. I go through each one specifically and then I explain what to do with your lowest three. But it’s a really great way to begin locating yourself and to say, “Alright, this is where I’m at right now. Is this the desires of my heart? No, I desire to be fully engaged.” Alright, then you can start taking steps daily because you know what is really in need of your attention. When you think about the greatest thing we can give anyone, including ourselves, it’s our attention. And we can do this by saying, “Alright, this is where I am. I’m engaged or not engaged.” 

When we talk about the five engagements of a great lover and then we look at seven engagements that really take people through how to become a great lover of your life and how to fall in love with your life, one of those steps is learning to become likeable. Engagement six is likable and the ability to like yourself. Most people, when they go through life, they will make a big list of everything they want their partner to be like or their life to be like. But we really need to be asking ourselves, “Am I willing to be like that?” 

Everyone’s heard it, “Write your list if you’re looking for Mr. Right.” So, you’re supposed to sit down and write all this stuff out. Well, my list was about a hundred and eleven things long. I was shocked. Everything from he’s got to love Seinfeld. He’s got to love God. And all these other things. There was all this stuff on my list and then one day I asked myself, “Shannon, are you that? How can you expect that from someone else, if you’re not that?” So, one of the practical things I have all my clients do is write out their list, whether it’s for a partner, or whether it’s for their lives. And then saying, “Alright, how are you doing that in your own life?” Right there, if people did nothing else but to locate where they are with their engagement or disengagement, and then write their list of expectations. Then say, “Alright, now that’s my job description. To be that in my own life for myself so that I can share that by being that for others.” 

Sometimes people think dating ourselves well is like going and getting a mani-pedi. I’m all about the man-pedi, but you know what? The reality is, you can do all the stuff on the outside and you’re still just simply making yourself feel good. Let me tell you, dating yourself well sometimes doesn’t feel good. Just like being in love with someone, or until you feel like you’ve been disappointed and you’ve lost love and it’s like, “Oh my gosh, love hurts.” But you know what? I would rather love and lose and never really lose, then to never love at all. It’s not just the fluff on the surface. It’s not just going to buy myself a new outfit. There’s time for that too, of course. But it’s the deeper things that matter most.

Okay, so I’ve got two little bit off the wall questions for you to end with. Number one, what is the tattoo on your wrist?

Oh, it says “Adventure”. I’ll tell you a quick little story behind this. It was December 23rd, 2012 and I was in New York visiting my daughter. She’s a student at NYU and we had gone to a church here, it was phenomenal. We had such a great experience for our Christmas Eve service and then my daughter wakes up in the morning, I think Christmas Eve morning. She says to me, “Mom, I had a dream last night that I got a tattoo.” I was like, “Really?” And she says, “I think I want to get a tattoo today.” I’m thinking, “Okay honey.” Even though I have a tattoo on my shoulder, so I’m not against tattoos but I’m saying, “What are you going to get?” And, “I suggest you put it somewhere where you can cover it up if you would choose to.” I go through the whole thing. Even though I already had one, I had to take her through the whole “Mom” list. She said, “Well, I think I want to just get a word. And I think I want it on my wrist.” I said, “Okay, then you could cover it if you wanted to with a watch or whatever.” I asked her what word she wanted and she says, “Of course my favorite word.” Right away, I said, “Adventure.” 

So, we’re walking over to the tattoo place. We made this decision just like that. As we’re walking over there, she says, “Mom, you should get one too.” I was like, “Nah, I’m good. I’m good. I don’t need another tattoo.” And she says again, “No, but Mom, it would be awesome. We would have matching tattoos.” I just said, “No, I’m not doing it.” So, we get over there to tattoo place and he starts doing it and all of a sudden, it was like, “Yeah, I’m doing it.” I just made the decision, “I’m doing it.” So, I put this thing on my wrist thinking, “Oh, I’ll probably cover it up,” especially when I was working at the cancer hospital. I was thinking, “What are these patients going to think?” Let me tell you, David. I have never covered this thing up. This was right around that time that I started dating myself and it’s just been this reminder. There’s no greater adventure than the one of dating and falling in love and loving yourself well.

I love that. Alright, last question for Dr. Shannon is, if you were to date any character on Seinfeld, who would it be and why?

Oh, that is fabulous. Okay, I’m sitting here and I’m going through all the reasons, because I love them all so much, but it would have to be Kramer. Now the reason why I say that is because he makes me laugh. Now, would Kramer be the guy that I’d want to date if I want a guy to be financially taking care of the business? No, but you know what? I take care of my own business, so I don’t need someone to take care of my business. It would definitely, without a doubt be Kramer for sure. For sure.

That is great.

And you know who else? The Wiz. You remember the Wiz? “I’m the Wiz!” He always cracked me up. I always loved his perspective of like, “He’s the wiz.” So, anyways, I would definitely choose Kramer.

I would like to meet the woman who says she would like to date the Soup Nazi. That would be funny. 

Oh, that’s great.

Well, we let people know that they can get your book for free, they only need to pay the shipping and handling. Where can they go to get that? And if they would like to get your assistance on any other part of their life, how can they reach and connect with you?

Thank you for asking, it’s www.dateyourselfwell.com. They can reach out and e-mail me if there’s any questions at drshannon@doctorshannon.com. And as I mentioned, my free e-book with the engagement rating, if you want to check that out too, that’s totally free. You can get it online at www.soldateyourself.com. 

S.O.L stands for “sip on life”.

Sip on life. 

Come on now, I’m picking up what you’re putting down here. I’m getting it. I’m getting the acronyms. Alright, so www.dateyourselfwell.com, you can check out Dr. Shannon’s book and get it for free, just pay the shipping and handling. Or you can go to www.doctorshannon.com. Of course, we’ll have all the links to your social media in our show notes at www.launchyourself.today. Dr. Shannon, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and we’re excited to have people get your book.

Thank you so much, David. And to all your incredible listeners, thank you for allowing me to pour out my words today and my perspective. I trust that it’s going to awaken some hope in the hearts and souls of women as well as men that will listen. So, thank you. And thank you for all the work that you’re doing as well. I really appreciate it.

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thank you!