strong believer in the power of self confidence in relationships, Julia Keller is a woman who has seemingly cracked the secret many spend a lifetime striving to understand: the key to having a successful relationship. As a Transformational Love Coach, Julia helps women who are serious about improving their love life to find the partner of their dreams, by helping them rediscover their femininity, build their self-confidence and work on the relationship that matters the most: the one with themselves.
Julia first became interested in the idea of helping people find love after experiencing her own heartbreak when she made the decision to leave her husband some years back. Finding the dating scene for over 30’s to be much different to what she had been used to when she was single in her early 20s, and struggling to meet the men that she could see being in a long term relationship with; Julia set about using her Psychology undergraduate studies and her extensive sales and marketing training, as well as the many books she perused on changing both her life and her dating status, to begin changing her life for the better. By putting her newfound passion and techniques to work, Julia found herself suddenly with an extremely successful dating life and so decided to extend her wisdom to other women. Discovering her talent as a coach, Julia then pursued a Coaching Diploma, NLP Training and qualifications in Couples Coaching and Wellness Coaching. Her career as a Love Guru had officially begun.
From the common dating mistakes women make, to the importance of having balance in a relationship and finding the elusive formula for Tinder success: Julia reveals to us her secrets to finding and maintaining a happy and healthy relationship. A big advocate of the power of love in transforming a person’s life, she continually promotes a never-say-die attitude to finding the one. After all, in her own words, ‘love is a long term game’.
I’m Eastern European by birth, but grew up in the US and have been in London for over a decade, so my attitude towards dating and the balance between the sexes is a mix of all three. I come from a family of psychiatrists, therapists and psychoanalysts, so it was just a natural thing that I was drawn to therapy as a career. I studied psychology to start with, but I didn’t want to be a psychologist and I didn’t want to go to medical school, so I initially went into sales. I was very shy growing up, but fortunately I had a saleswoman that worked with me and took me under her wing. She was brilliant and showed me how to gel with people better, because as an immigrant I struggled as I never felt completely like everyone else. I decided to then go to business school which is how I came to London.
I think part of what I do is influenced by my Eastern European culture. Eastern European women look after their men in certain ways, mainly because there is so much competition for the best men. It‘s a tough culture – my mother was very much like that and was fine deferring to my father for decisions and making sure that he was happy. It felt very much like this was what the woman’s role was supposed to be. My sister and I reacted very differently to that, but fundamentally we both came to the same point of view: that there has to be a balance somewhere and that what you’re looking for is the person who counterbalances you. You have to be genuine to who you are.
On becoming a Love Coach
I’ve really done this my entire life; I would just sit with friends helping them to uncover what was amazing about them, counteracting everything negative that many others told them, and basically helping them figure out what kind of guy they wanted and how to make it happen. When I ran singles events after my divorce a lot of women would come as I did it for free. Some would meet someone immediately, while others wouldn’t meet anyone ever, but would keep coming back. I began to consider what worked and what didn’t work in the eyes of the men they were meeting. I put much of that data into what I initially coached women on.
"What you’re looking for is the person who counterbalances you. You have to be genuine to who you are"
I realised that what I really wanted was to help women to date better, to love better, to feel more empowered and have more self-confidence. The first woman that became my client came to me at a woman’s group meeting and said “I remember you were doing this – could you help me find a husband?” She became my first client and she was a brilliant case study and had a great situation. Many of my initial clients were from the women’s group. After that it just grew organically from there.
Now, probably 50% of my clients are single and the majority are women over 35 – usually in the 36 to 50 bracket, though I have had all the way up to almost 70. The other 50% are made up of men who want to work on themselves to meet someone, or women and men who are in relationships where they feel that things are starting to fall apart or aren’t moving quite in the way that they want. They want to either figure out if they want to stay in it, or to get their partners to marry them.
One of the things I started doing when I left my husband was interviewing successful couples, in order to decide whether I should stay married or get divorced. There was nothing wrong with my husband, but we clearly weren’t a good match together and were constantly bickering. But, overall on paper, he seemed like a great catch and we had a nice lifestyle together. But we weren’t happy and we weren’t getting along. I knew that I could never become the woman that I wanted to be with him. A lot of women have this feeling and much worse, but they don’t acknowledge it and stay anyway rather than to risk the unknown or ending up alone.
Finding the key to a successful relationship
Now I can meet a couple and by the way they talk, I can usually guess pretty accurately if they’re in a happy, cohesive relationship or not. This can of course change at any time; it’s even enough for just one person to really want to change. I really believe in the power of a woman to make things happen. In fact, my initial teachings to women is that they have the power of the relationship. You have the power to keep it together; you have the power to change the course of the direction it’s moving at any time.
On taking responsibility
My main point revolves around taking responsibility for your own life. You chose your partner; you chose all of the partners that hurt you. And that’s very hard for a lot of people to come to terms with. You can’t change him, but you can change yourself. If you own life, you can take it in the direction that you want it to go. How empowering is that, knowing that as soon as that you take ownership of your path, you can go about changing it. You start with the fact that you’re responsible that this happened to you and then you move beyond it to where you really want to be.
Common mistakes women make
Women often give too much. What happens all too often is you’re dating a man and he’s getting kind of into you, but you’re still not completely sure, and then at some point you decided you actually like him. And then you twist in the way you act and you become overly available. Men who are masculine like a slight challenge: that’s not a chase by the way, but they like to do a bit of work to win you over, so they feel like you’re selective and you’re selecting them. If all of a sudden you then twist around and he’s texting you three times a day and you’re texting back a novel about your life it becomes too much. You need to allow that space and you need to be strong enough in yourself to realise that you don’t have to run after him. If he really likes you and values you, he’ll make sure you spend time together. He just needs enough from you to show him that you’re interested back.
"I teach women that in a relationship, you don’t want equality, you want balance"
The trick that I use is not to give too much initially, but rather to give back, and just a little bit less. I saw this also in a book I really liked by Patricia Allen called Getting To I Do when a friend pointed out the book as she thought it sounded a lot like what I teach women. I love books as a way to give you a recipe, which is why I’m writing one as well since many women have asked, but I actually think coaching goes beyond what you get from a book to where you have someone working on the deeper issues and helping you change your personal history. That’s what I think a good coach should do: they should question you and help you look at things differently.
On having a balance
I have a lot of professional female clients that say that they want an equal relationship. I teach women that in a relationship, you don’t want equality, you want balance. We’ve come through the feminist movement, while equality means both of us are the same so neither one of us will budge, balance means one person can dominate in one area and the other can dominate in another area. My sister is a great example of this. She’s the higher earner and the stronger energy in her relationship in some areas, while her husband is dominant in other areas. As a result they’re an extremely successful and well-balanced as a couple. I think it’s wonderful that there are all these different men and women and they don’t all fit with each other.
I see it all the time where professional women take their masculine energy home and if you’re going to do that, that’s fine, but then you need to go for a feminine energy man. That doesn’t mean he’s gay or he’s effeminate; it’s just that softer man, so you start off with that balance. If you want to be the feminine energy, however, then you need the masculine energy man. But then you need to own the feminine energy in you and you need to be able to leave your job at work. A lot of times when I work with women in relationships, I just empower their femininity and the relationship comes back into gear.
On dating apps
I initially wrote a lot against Tinder, but, after talking to some high quality men, I realised that this is just how many busy people meet each other these days. The problem is that it encourages a low attention span and superficiality, so you have to get your profile right which is why I do a course on how to do a profile for Tinder and online dating – it’s one of the big things I do for single women.
"I think that the working world is tough on women because we are very tough on ourselves"
It also depends on what you look like – unfortunately these apps are all about superficiality, which is why I was so against it. I wouldn’t have swiped right for half of my ex boyfriends! Some of my clients are terrible - I’m like no I’m swiping for you from now on or you’re just going to eliminate everybody! I teach women to filter later and that means using the apps in the opposite way than what they would do normally: Only swipe left if you REALLY can’t see yourself with him. Remember that what you see is just some photos of him; very likely those photos aren’t that representative. I have both women and men telling me all the time about how they were disappointed when someone didn’t look anything like his or her photo. Give him a chance to demonstrate how his eyes light up when he speaks about something he’s passionate about or how they twinkle when he smiles at you. There are many things that won’t show up in a photo, and then there’s his personality and way of speaking and carrying himself, which you may end up falling in love with. Meet him first and then decide whether to filter him out or not.
What makes a good Tinder profile?
I did a whole interview series on what men really want and I asked a lot of these men, who were real jerks, but successful on dating apps, what makes a good Tinder profile. They spelled it out and it was amazing. You want to have 3-4 photos, 5 maximum so you don’t look too needy, no friends, no kids, no animals. At least one with a full body shot; it doesn’t matter whether you have a good figure or not. The idea is that you’re honest in your photos so that you meet someone who actually likes your type. Smile rather than giving that pouty look that makes you look like you’re annoyed at someone or trying too hard to look like a model – men don’t like that. You want recent photos too, so that when you show up on the date you look like you look in the photos. The other thing is what you write in those three sentences. You have to put across quite a bit in a short space and be clear about what you want and say a bit about how you think. That’s not easy to do and it’s really where the crux of what happens lies, along with the photos you choose. Remember that your profile is what he uses to decide whether he wants to communicate with you or not. Because I’ve had success on profile creation before, I’ve had quite a lot of clients asking for this.
On having confidence
I think that the working world is tough on women because we are very tough on ourselves. I feel and see with my other female friends who are working that we feel like we have to do everything. You do the same job that your husband does, but you often get paid less for it. Then you come home and you do the second shift: cooking for your kids and looking after your family. Then you feel bad because you feel that you aren’t giving your kids the attention that they deserve, that you’re not a good enough mother, and also that you’re not putting in enough for your job, so you’re always doubting yourself. It’s so embedded in our culture and it doesn’t matter how much feminism is growing. I’m a big supporter of feminism, but something isn’t working as we’re still struggling; something isn’t how it’s meant to be. Something needs to change.
"We undersell ourselves on a regular basis and that’s what I’m fighting"
As women we often believe that we are not good enough. Women tend to be more perfectionist than men in certain areas, not in everything, because men are very successful, but men will take more risks, whereas women are more focused on getting it right. I feel like our egos are more afraid to step out of our comfort zone, and we often doubt whether we are good enough. I’ve worked with many women who are beautiful, some of them used to be models, and they have the same insecurities that all of us face; there is always something.
We undersell ourselves on a regular basis and that’s what I’m fighting. Women go to self-help far more than men do. We’re also more likely to take someone’s negative personality seriously, letting a failure in a relationship define what we think about men for the next ten years. Men do that too in a way, but they do it outwardly and they don’t take it personally. If they’re hurt they’ll go and they’ll hurt. Whereas women, if they’re hurt they tend to hibernate. And this is what I want to change – the mind-set when it comes to personal history.
Favourite Power Piece
Oueen For A Day
I would help loads of women to find love and do it for free. Do a love festival or something!
For more information about Julia and her services as a Transformational Love Coach visit her website here.