Hi! Can share a little about yourself and what you do?
Sure! Well, it seems like I am always the topic of conversation at dinner parties, because my entire adult career has been about helping people find and keep love! For the last thirteen years, since I finished my undergraduate psychology degree, I have been working as a matchmaker and dating & relationship coach in the NYC area. It has been a fun ride–everything from doing TV shows and radio interviews as a dating expert, to co-hosting singles events, to writing books and countless blogs, and training other matchmakers on the secrets of the industry.
I once did a reality dating blog in which I went on ninety two dates in a year! Thank God I am over that and in a happy relationship now! I empathize with everyone from the broken-hearted to singles struggling on dating apps, as I have been there personally. It feels great to know that I have helped people get to the other side–finding real love, getting married, creating families, etc. A lot of my clients and friends had to go through hell and back to get there. Its so important to get over the past in order to move forward in love. That’s why I wrote my book, How To Get Over Your Ex: A Step By Step Guide To Mend A Broken Heart Italian American Style. I could talk about this stuff 24/7!
Can you tell us about a significant heartbreak and how you recovered?
I’ve had my heart broken twice. I thought it would be easier and quicker to get over the second one, but, ummm, not really! In regard to how I recovered, well, I suppose I used a lot of different strategies from throwing myself into work and working out, to reading self-help books and journaling, to forcing myself to get back out there to date–as a distraction and reminder that I could be attracted to other men. Because I really believe in dating/relationship coaching and that coaches should receive their own coaching, I also hired a colleague to act as my own personal coach for a few sessions. It was very helpful, and I am sure my friends appreciated it, as they were sick of hearing about my ex! I might have done some woo-woo stuff too–psychics, affirmations, meditations, ha. I’ll do whatever it takes for most things! At one point, I did something a bit extreme-called The Hoffman Process-because the opportunity was presented to me. (I was offered a scholarship there.) This is a week long retreat–no contact with the outside world! It is not for everyone or strictly for getting over breakups, but I would recommend it to anyone who loves hard, fights hard, and really wants to change.
What are major red flags for you when you start dating someone new?
Excessive drinking, Rudeness to waiters, Overly interested in sex, Narcissistic qualities, Lack of effort in planning dates, Lack of communication, Roaming eye, Routinely delayed or ignored texts messages
What are your favorite mood elevators to uplift and inspire you?
Music. Exercise. Food. Being Outdoors. Flirting. Shopping. Reading. Watching a funny movie. Sunshine. Taking a bubble bath. Sexy Time (Ha!) Writing. Seeing a great friend. Going to the spa.
Do you stay friends with your ex? Unfollow or follow them on social media, etc?
For me, personally, I don’t believe I’d ever stay friends-friends with an ex when I am in/want to be in a new relationship unless I had something strong holding us together–like co-parenting or having a business. If others just can’t let go of the friendship/history and want to stay friends, that’s cool if it works for them, but it hasn’t worked for my exes and I to be “just friends”. I don’t stay in close contact anymore, because that has only led to on and off relationships for me, and I am not looking to rekindle with any of my exes.That being said, I have been on friendly terms with a couple exes–meaning we have texted or talked occasionally to check in. Sometimes I have had a soft spot, but I have learned past is PAST! Right after a breakup, I have done no-contact for extended periods of time. That includes unfollowing-and sometimes blocking-on social media. If they want to follow me now to see how great I am doing without them, that’s fine. Ha.
Any tips for our users on moving on from heartbreak?
You must work on accepting that your relationship is over, and that there is no turning back. In the beginning, you have to mourn a breakup like a death. So its okay to cry and experience all of those icky emotions for a period of time. Do not judge yourself. It takes longer than you think to get over someone you loved. But don’t let yourself stay in this state too long–especially if it is affecting your health or career. Get help if you need it. From friends, coaches, therapists. Have someone you can call when you feel like calling your ex. STAY AWAY FROM YOUR EX–unless you absolutely have to be in contact. If you get involved again, you are just further delaying healing your broken heart. Decide you will move on, and you will move on. You will not believe it at the time, but if you want to, you will love again. And you will love someone who is far better for you for the long term than your ex could ever be. Stay strong!
Rachel Russo, MS, MFT is a Matchmaker, Dating & Relationship Coach, Author & Speaker.