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Ashley Kelsch: Dating Coach Introduces New Column

“My brain is an endless reel of all the romance, drama, joy and heartbreak that comes from being human and looking for connection”

Ashley Kelsch is Austin’s top certified, professional dating and relationship coach and former owner of Teddies for Betty’s, the lingerie boutique on 2nd Street that she ran for a decade. She offers one-on-one life-coaching programs to help clients acknowledge and understand limiting beliefs, to set boundaries and to learn how to change mindsets so they can get what they want in their romantic lives and feel empowered. Ashley helps men and women of all ages, single and married. She has a weekly podcast called Modern Renegades, and you can follow her on Instagram @AshleyMKelsch.

Hello there, reader, and welcome to a new column about love, dating, sex and relationships through the lens of my personal experiences as I’ve lived them, continue to live them and vicariously live them through the world around me and my life-coaching business.

I am 40-something-year-old woman who has spent the last 20 years looking for The One. From being married and realizing they were not The Ones, to dating like it was a full-time job, to finding out that I am The One, I’ve compiled a panoply of stories and data that led me to the conclusion that guiding others in dating and relationships are my life’s purpose.

Literally, I coach women and men who have everything figured out but their love life. I’m also the host of Life Coaching for Modern Renegades, a weekly podcast where I share different tools and concepts that help people navigate their love lives, work and parenting.

Some of you may remember me from Teddies for Bettys. I spent 10 years selling lingerie, high-end sex toys and listening to some of my customers’ most intimate experiences from behind the dressing room doors.

My brain is an endless reel of all the romance, drama, joy and heartbreak that comes from being human and looking for connection.

I’m fascinated by what we do in the name of love. How our brains logically “know” one thing and yet, we are driven and compelled to do another. I look at my own life and listen to my friends and clients and am in complete awe sometimes – even more so of those who are not consumed by relationships.

I’m obsessed with understanding how subliminal messaging – handed down to us from our parents, the media, schools and our friends – have shaped and driven our decisions and choices unconsciously. We are living in a time when women can out earn men, have children on their own and in essence don’t “need” a man. Women know this, yet still date like their lives depend on it or feel some anxiety or shame for not having a partner by a certain point in life. The conditioning runs deep.

At this point in my life, I have unraveled much of those beliefs and have found myself entering a new chapter as my children prepare to leave the nest. Now I can finally live the life I’ve been fantasizing about: lovers at my leisure, late nights out and mornings spent in bed drinking coffee and gossiping. Just kidding! I’ve lived that life.

“I promise, it won’t be boring. Love and relationships (even with ourselves) never are.”

I’ve officially entered into a new kind of relationship and a different kind of love. I call it a “hands-on” project. I’m self-partnered. This doesn’t mean I’m not dating. But I am very selective. The way I spend my time, with or without people, how and with whom, I want all of these moments to be filled with purpose and intention; I want to find pleasure in all areas of my life, not just the romantic pursuits.

I want to live an erotic life and be turned on by all the things I do. This includes the way I enjoy my morning cup of coffee and feel the warmth against my face before taking my first sip as well as being mesmerized by the light on my lover’s body as I watch him sleep as the sun rises. I want to explore deep and meaningful relationships with the women in my life. I want to create content to enrich my clients’ lives as well as those who come across it. I want to discover the parts of Austin that I’ve yet to see in my 12-plus years here. I want to fall in love over and over again with myself.

And I want to share how it all unfolds with you. I promise, it won’t be boring. Love and relationships (even with ourselves) never are. And our brains, definitely are not. Here’s to finding our way through it all in the most pleasurable way possible!