Shela Dean is a Relationship Coach, author and speaker. She has counseled more than 2,000 couples since 1983 and is the bestselling author of Frequent Foreplay Miles, Your Ticket to Total Intimacy, a guide to improving intimacy for couples, Frequent Foreplay Miles for the Remarried, and ReDate Your Mate, 4 Steps to Falling in Love All Over Again (Boomer Edition).
It was during Shela’s two decades as an estate planning attorney, before retiring from law to begin relationship coaching in 2004, that she first began to notice and study the dynamics of married couples. Involved with her clients over prolonged periods of time, Shela not only witnessed their lives unfold, but helped them face such challenges as the death of a child or the loss of health or wealth. Because of her long-term involvement in her clients’ lives, Shela found herself counseling on relationship issues almost as much as on legal matters.
Since retiring from the practice of law, Shela Dean has shared her strategies for creating better relationships through one-on-one relationship coaching, seminars, and through her books. Her unique blend of humor, insight, and practical meat-and-potatoes approach helps couples find a better way to navigate the friendly, and sometimes not-so-friendly, skies of life while having a darned good time doing it. Shela doesn’t sit in an ivory tower. She’s been there and done that . . . .
I’m married to Dale who is, hands down, the nicest guy on the planet. He’s kind, generous, cute, a great cook, and funny. He’s not, of course, perfect. For example, he’s chronically late. In fact, that’s how Frequent Foreplay Miles, my trademarked strategy for helping couples have more emotional intimacy (and the subject of my first book) began. It was over morning coffee and cinnamon-toast when, 10 years ago, I explained to Dale the effect his being late had on me. Putting it in a context that would get his attention — sex — I pointed my butter knife at him for emphasis, smiled sweetly, and said,
Dale, you need to know something about being in a relationship: foreplay is all day, every day, 24/7. It includes anything and everything that affects how I feel about you. So here’s an idea for you. Try racking up Frequent Foreplay Miles by being on time. The more miles you rack up, the more “in the mood” I’ll be.
We laughed. But he understood and, in his sexual self-interest, pledged to become the on-time guy. He earned Frequent Foreplay Miles by wiping the table free of toast crumbs. I earned mine by ironing his shirt. The morning’s good-bye kiss was especially sweet. The sheets sizzled that night and in the afterglow we acknowledged that a simple idea, expressed in that morning’s playful exchange, had legs. It became our goal to bank as many and lose as few Frequent Foreplay Miles as possible. With joy and laughter as the hallmarks of our relationship, we were the couple everyone envied. Picking up Frequent Foreplay Miles was easily done through daily acts of kindness. We seldom lost them. We thought it would never change. We were wrong.
A business failure nearly sent us into bankruptcy. Financial hard times, accompanied by guilt, shame, resentment, and anger, rocked our marriage to the core. We packed up, left our life in California, moved to the East Coast and started over. Alone in a city where we knew no one, grieving for the life we had lost, and sad to the point of depression, our philosophy of marriage was put to trial by fire. The playful banter in which we had so often engaged was replaced by silence. Tension and distance left little room for the easy joy we once felt. There were times when we wondered if we would make it, but we did. Surviving the challenge was possible because we had early on made Frequent Foreplay Miles the strongest thread in the fabric of our relationship. We credit that philosophy as the reason we survived and emerged as a stronger and happier couple. The joy and the laughter came back. And now I use what Dale and I learned as the foundation for helping couples have the relationship they want and can have.
To schedule a consultation, contact Shela via phone or email.