Robin Walgast: An Expert Whose Advice Will Help You Create Healthy Relationships
Finding love in the modern age comes with all sorts of questions and complications. That’s why I’m so pleased to have dating coach Robyn Wahlgast here today. As the founder of New Direction Dating, Robyn has become a trusted voice on navigating the ups and downs of dating in the 21st century.
She’s here to tackle all our burning questions about building meaningful connections in today’s globally-connected landscape. Whether it’s decoding cross-cultural relationships, succeeding at online dating, or balancing professional goals with romantic ones, Robyn’s wisdom and empathy will be invaluable. Let’s give her a warm welcome and dive into our conversation!
Absolutely! I’ve been a dating coach for over 10 years now. I got into this field after my own struggles finding the right partner. Dating today can be so complicated, especially with factors like busy schedules and cultural differences. I found there just weren’t enough resources tailored to the modern woman’s needs. That inspired me to launch New Direction Dating and start writing books and articles to empower women to take control of their love lives. My mission is to provide the insights and support women deserve to build the relationships they want.
That’s fantastic. I know our readers will be eager to tap into your expertise across all facets of dating. Robyn, our first question comes from Amanda, a career-focused woman in her 30s struggling to balance professional goals and dating. Amanda asks:
As an ambitious woman, I often worry that my focus on work might sabotage my chances of finding a great relationship. What advice do you have for career-driven women like me who want to balance professional goals with romantic success?
This is such a common challenge, Amanda. My first piece of advice is to get clear on the time you can reasonably dedicate to dating without compromising your career aspirations. Figure out a schedule that allows for work, social time with friends, self-care, and still leaves some evenings or weekends free for meeting potential partners.
It’s also key to seek out dates who appreciate and support your drive. On early dates, discuss your passion for your work and goals. The right partner will admire your determination. Also, don’t be afraid to share vulnerabilities about wanting a relationship while still pursuing your ambitions. The authenticity will build intimacy.
Lastly, get creative about efficiency. Can you combine activities like grabbing coffee on the way to the office to multitask bonding time? Or schedule video chat dates when you’re less available in person? With some strategic planning, you can absolutely have both professional and romantic success.
Michelle, it’s completely understandable to feel cautious about dating after going through a painful divorce. My suggestion is to be gentle with yourself and don’t feel rushed into anything you’re not ready for. Focus on healing, self-care and rediscovering joy on your own first.
When you do feel ready to start moving forward, begin slowly. Try low-pressure social activities to build confidence being around new people. Use apps sparingly at first so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Remind yourself regularly that not every relationship will resemble your past one – there are wonderful partners out there when the time is right. Consider counseling to work through any lingering hurt or unhealthy patterns before opening up deeply again. With time, that hesitation can transform into hopeful openness. Go at your own pace.
There are definitely some unique factors to consider in age gap relationships, Lauren. I’d suggest having honest conversations about what you both want in life. Does he see himself settling down soon while you cherish independence? That could signal misaligned goals. Also, check any assumptions related to life stages – he may be very mature for his age.
Discuss how to handle judgements from others. Your confidence as a couple is key. Lastly, appreciate what you can learn from each other’s perspectives. A generational difference can be a gift if viewed thoughtfully. As long as you communicate with empathy and respect, an age gap doesn’t have to be an insurmountable barrier to an amazing relationship.
It’s understandable to feel hesitant about online dating, Amy. My advice would be to start slowly – maybe just set up a simple profile first without feeling pressured to be very active. As you get comfortable, try messaging just a few people you’re really interested in. For your safety, don’t share too many personal details early on. When you do meet someone, pick a public place and let a friend know the details. Over time, lean into the aspects you enjoy, whether that’s the ability to take your time getting to know matches or the efficiency of meeting pre-screened singles. If you go into it with an open mind, online dating can widen your possibilities of meeting someone great.
Our fifth question is from Nina, who is dating someone from a very different cultural background. Nina asks:
I’m concerned about some of the cultural differences between myself and the man I’ve recently started seeing. He’s from a very different background than me. How can we thoughtfully navigate those differences as our relationship progresses?
Cultural differences can definitely present challenges in a relationship, but they can also enrich your connection if you embrace open and respectful communication, Nina. Have ongoing conversations to share your family traditions, values, and worldviews. Don’t make assumptions. Be willing to try new things celebrated by your partner’s culture. There may occasionally be uncomfortable moments, but keep a spirit of patience and curiosity. If any differences emerge that you just can’t reconcile, like contrasting visions for the future, then it may not be a match. But giving intercultural dating a thoughtful chance could lead to amazing growth for you both.
There are definitely ways you can meet new people that align with your introverted tendencies, Sophie. Try more introvert-friendly apps like Hinge that let you get to know matches gradually through in-depth profiles. Attend quieter events focused on hobbies or causes you care about, where you already share something in common. Ask friends to set you up on low-key outings with people they think you’d click with.
When you do meet someone new, don’t feel pressure to be overly talkative – the right partner will appreciate your reflective nature. And remind yourself that your introversion is an asset, not a flaw. You simply need dating strategies tailored to your temperament. By playing to your strengths as an introvert, you can absolutely find the relationship you’re seeking.
I’ll just say – be patient with yourself and keep an open heart. The right connections take time to build. Stay focused on learning and growth, both personally and in relating to others. Understand your needs without judgement. With some faith and a little guidance when needed, you can create the loving relationships you seek.