Amber Grubenmann

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Am I Too Needy? - The Bucket of Needs

I’ve noticed that sometimes when people go through difficult experiences in dating, such as being ghosted, they carry a lot of fear going into the next connection.

One of the questions that I ask my clients is, “What is the one-sentence story that you took away from that experience?”

That one-sentence story is your mind’s lesson that it is now taking forward in dating. After a painful experience, the one-sentence story will most often be negative and not serving you.

It could be a statement like “I’m really difficult to love,” or “I’m too needy.”

One of my clients was having a hard time getting her needs met in her relationship, and she believed that maybe her needs were too much.

I shared this metaphor with her:

When we partner up with somebody we each get a bucket, and in that bucket are the needs of the other person.

Everybody’s needs are a little bit different, but they are usually things like checking in every...

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Saying "No" So You Can Hear Your "Yes"

One thing that comes up a lot when I talk about sexual dynamics with my clients is the topic of saying “no.”

The main thought that a lot of women have when it comes to sex and dating is “I owe him sex.”

You probably don’t even realize you’re thinking something like this, but it can show up in a lot of ways, including:

“I don’t want to flirt too much on the date because I don’t want to give him the wrong impression.”

“I don’t want him to think that we are going to have sex today.”

“I don’t want to give him blue balls.”

It can also show up as not wanting to go to a guy’s house because if you do he’ll expect that you’re going to have sex.

Or thinking that if you don’t have sex early enough he will lose interest or he will go find somebody else to have sex with, or thinking that all men want is sex.

If on some level you feel reserved or uncomfortable flirting,...

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"I Don’t Want To End Up Alone"

I recently had a 15-minute session with a woman who shared a thought she was having frequently: “I don't want to be alone forever.”

She had recently gotten out of a long-term marriage, and she found herself dating for the first time in years.

She had never expected to do this in her forties, which is the case for a lot of women who join From Dating to Exclusive.

On one hand, she felt really discouraged by the apps.

But on the other hand, she had this thought: “I don't want to end up alone.”

That's a really common dilemma. We hate dating, but we also really, really want a relationship. We kind of chug along through the process of dating, but we hate the process.

I explained to her how dating from this place of discouragement tends to make dating more difficult.

We're less likely to be open, we are less likely to find other people attractive, and we are less likely to show up courageously when we're coming from these kinds of negative thoughts.

I told her that...

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How The Idea Of "Feminine Energy" Hurts You In Dating

I had a 15-minute session with a really awesome woman last week, and she shared that she had been dating somebody for six or seven months and they just recently became exclusive.

In order to take that step, she had to give him an ultimatum.

She spoke a lot about feminine energy, which to her means letting the guy guide the connection.

She was beating herself up for giving him an ultimatum because she felt like that was too harsh and masculine.

Now she wanted the “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” labels, but he was uncomfortable with that too. He said yes to being exclusive, but they were going to give it several more months before deciding if they were ready for the next step.

The first question that I asked her was, what do you do if you want to be in your feminine energy but the guy that you're dating is not being masculine?

If we're using these terms and this ideology, then we would look at this guy and say he's not very masculine because he's not taking the...

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Three Pieces of Advice I've Changed My Mind About

At this point, I’ve created almost 250 podcast episodes. I wanted to update some of the advice that I've shared because there are some things that I don't 100% agree with anymore.

The first one is the concept of overwatering.

If you have been listening to the podcast for a while, you've definitely heard me talk about overwatering the plant.

When you are creating a connection with somebody, it's like you have this little plant between the two of you that needs water, air, and time to grow.

Sometimes we throw a gallon of water on the plant thinking that's going to make the plant grow faster.

What that looks like in dating is thinking that by spending a bunch of time together and talking as much as possible you’ll move the relationship to the next level faster.

But you can't make a plant grow. Plants grow on their own based on the kind of plant that they are, just like some relationships grow more quickly than others.

What I've learned over time is that different...

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How To Process Hurts & Heartbreak 10x Faster

About two years ago I really put my mind to creating good friendships here in Portland.

I pushed myself to be super social in order to overcome social anxiety and feel more connected with people, and it has paid off big time.

I had a tough week last week, and although I had already made a bunch of plans with friends I didn’t feel like going out.

But I knew I always feel better when I see people, so I went to these different meetings and a few things happened.

One, I had fun. Two, I was distracted from what I was thinking about.

And three, I talked about my challenges and every person offered something helpful.

It wasn’t necessarily that they were all giving me advice, but they were reframing, reinterpreting, and giving me alternative perspectives.

I felt like my emotional recovery was ten times faster than it would have been two years earlier.

When you share your challenges with other people, the recovery time seems to be much faster because they help you bear the load a...

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Do Men Really Want Relationships?

When clients join my coaching program, I try to instill in them my triad of dating beliefs: men want relationships, specifically with you because you’re awesome, and relationships are amazing.

The reason why it’s important to decide what we want to believe is because it influences the way that we show up in dating, and ultimately over time what we create.

Otherwise, when you meet somebody you like and they say that they don’t want commitment, you’ll end compromising and settling for a situationship because what’s the point anyway? You’ll date that person for an extended period of time because you don’t actually think it gets better than that.

Last week one of my clients asked, “How can I believe that men want relationships when that hasn’t been my experience whatsoever? In my experience, pretty much all the men I go on dates with don’t want a relationship.”

If believing that men want relationships feels so far out,...

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56 Unconventional Dating Truths


  1. Dating is a game that you play with somebody, not against somebody.
  2. Men want relationships.
  3. Loneliness means you are lacking fulfilling connection, not a boyfriend.
  4. If you try to maintain a chase, what happens when they get you?
  5. When a man is chasing you he’s falling for the idea of you instead of you.
  6. If you want a casual relationship treat it casually.
  7. If you want a serious relationship treat it thoughtfully.
  8. Focus 80 percent on fun and playfulness and about 20 percent on depth when you’re on a date.
  9. Dating you is only 1 percent of what’s possible. Exclusivity unlocks the other 99 percent.
  10. Don’t ask them where they see this going or what they’re looking for. Share what you want and then ask them if they want it as well.
  11. Exclusivity is just a baby step.
  12. Ask someone to be exclusive because you love the way they show up, not because you want to improve the way they show up. 
  13. Your checklist will change over the years but the five elements of...
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Is This One Thing Standing In The Way Of Creating An Exclusive Relationship?

What if the only thing standing between you and your goal of creating an exclusive relationship was consistency?

Consistency is one of the key factors for determining your chance of going from dating to exclusive with a wonderful person within a year.

There are some obvious ways inconsistency shows up.

It could be by taking unintentional breaks, or by only going on a date every once in a while because you don’t yet have strategies to create one date per week.

Inconsistency also looks like downloading and then deleting the apps, or downloading the apps but not being active on them.

It can also look like going back to the 40 percent guy when a new connection doesn’t work out.

Sometimes when we are doing all these things, it can still feel like we are being consistent.

We might be thinking about dating a lot, but thinking about it consistently is not the same as staying the course until you create the relationship that you want.

Being consistent doesn’t mean...

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Three Levels of Meeting Men in Person

Are you feeling ready get back out there and meet men in person?

I've heard a lot of women say, “I'm sick of online dating.”

They delete the apps and think that is all they need to do to meet someone in person.

But deleting the apps doesn't automatically open the door for all the men who are waiting to ask you out, right?

It takes a different kind of energy, focus, and concentration to meet men in person.

There are three levels of meeting men in person. The first is the cold approach.

This is where you’re in a situation where it would be unusual for two strangers to talk to each other.

Other than being in the same place, you have nothing else that's really connecting you.

For example, you're at a bar and you see somebody across the room, or you're on the train and someone catches your attention.

 What I've found works best in those situations is the line, “I just saw you and I wanted to say hi.” (Not “I thought you were so handsome, will you...

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Copy & Paste Texts For When He Is Pulling Away Or Acting Flaky

Everything you need to know.