Author Bio (Short)
Dating and relationship expert Cija (kee-yah) Black is a writer, blogger, speaker, webinar presenter and coach dedicated to helping people sort their relationship baggage, and find real love both on and offline.
After years using personal ads in newspapers and online dating sites, she found herself peppered with questions from her friends & family about internet dating. Among the frequent questions were: “Aren’t you scared?”, “How do you write a profile, what do you say?”, “Isn’t that only for people in their 20′s?”
“I found numerous friends were coming out of long-term relationships or marriages in their 30′s and 40′s, and were really out of step with how much dating had changed, how much they had grown, and how different potential matches were at this age. I couldn’t just sit by, I had to help them out. I knew the process didn’t have to be so hard.”
Finally she decided to write her experience of love and online dating in Modern Love: The Grownup’s Guide to Relationships & Online Dating. The book contains a system for sorting your relationship baggage and creating a safe healthy path towards adventure, fun and fulfilling love.
Author Bio (Full)
Cija Black, author of “Modern Love: The Grownup’s Guide to Relationships and Online Dating”
Cija, (pronounced Kee-yah) Black is a full-time writer, speaker, webinar coach, dating and relationship expert, photographer, and founder, Chief Executive Officer & Lead Trouble Sniper of Cija Black Consulting, a company dedicated to helping people sort their relationship baggage, and find real love.
Cija Black is a 41 year-old divorcee who grew up in California (from San Diego to San Francisco) and now lives in Portland, Oregon. She attended UC Santa Cruz, and received her Bachelors degree in Conceptual Design from San Francisco State University. She is in happy communication filled relationship with her fiance David Jenkins, writer, filmmaker and office administrator extraordinaire whom she met through OkCupid an online dating site.
She is the author of the blogs, “Just Remember to Breathe” and “Modern Love“, where she has written articles about healthy relationships, voluntary simplicity, body image, divorce, turning 40, early retirement, battles with the internal critic, gratitude and following your dreams. She also dabbles in photography. Her work can be seen at Fine Art America.
Her namesake is the heroine of a 1970’s pulp fantasy series who was raised to think she was a goddess and eventually becomes the Empress, quite a bit to live up to, but Cija does her best.
Trouble Sniper & Problem Solver
Since her youth in San Diego, Cija was the person friends came to for honest advice tempered with compassion. Straightforward and analytical, she brought an objective logic to very personal problems with the goal of bridging the constant gap between assumptions and definitions.
“Real change in your life does take work, but it’s work worth doing and the impact of that effort will last a life time.” – Cija Black
Cija spent 20 years working in various intense customer service oriented corporate and university environments, and had a long history of being the unofficial office therapist. Her roles often put her on the front lines, giving her the opportunity to fine tune her listening and problem solving skills with just about every age, race, creed, color and background of person. She knows how to talk someone off the ledge and show them a positive solution.
“Give me a problem and I will give you a solution. I’m a trouble sniper.”
She experienced first hand how people operate under stress and learned how to talk them down from their “frustration ladder” to a more solution-oriented frame of mind. In the past few years Cija has become a writer, blogger, photographer and consultant, dedicated to helping people help themselves and find their own personal brand of happiness and satisfaction.
Cija’s Path to Love
Cija started dating at 15 years old fueled by 1980s teen romance films like “The Breakfast Club” and “Pretty in Pink”, and from that point on took the starry eyed path many blindly follow in youth: falling in and out of love, filled with happy times, sad times, broken hearts and some always amusing dating stories along the way. But always waiting for everything to magically fall into place.
Cija first used print personal ads in the 90s while attending college in San Francisco. The process of personal ads made intuitive sense to her: potential dates knew she was looking and she knew they were looking. With the invention of online dating the transition from paper to online was an easy one, and at that point followed the same basic routine as the old paper ads. Plus it didn’t hurt that she was already well steeped in technology and computer geekery.
Cija met her now ex-husband through online dating in 2000 and they were together for almost a decade. She began the divorce process in 2010 and, was back on the market and seeing what online dating had to offer. She began to recognize some of her own destructive patterns, bad habits and places in her life where she could have chosen differently. It was there that she began to realize the benefit of cleaning out old relationship baggage.
All of Cija’s relationship held great value and learning for her, all taught her about love and each provided a clearer path to clarity about what she wanted in a partner and a relationship and most importantly what she wanted from herself.
“Those relationships helped me become who I am now. I regret none of it and am thankful for all of it.”
After her divorce Cija began to fine tune her romantic expectations by really looking at her past relationships, seeing what had worked and what hadn’t. With this new set of tools and insights, she forged back into a whole new world of online dating, armed with a clear blueprint of who she wanted to invite into her life. After a number of dates with toads and princes she found a match, David Jenkins, who she met online. They practice “what they preach” and maintain a relationship based on communication, trust, honesty, mutual respect and of course love.
“As I reentered the dating world in my late 30′s I actually enjoyed the process of filtering through profiles and going out on dates. With each new meeting I obtained more pieces to my relationship puzzle and it became clearer and clearer what I was looking for. As I got into the full swing of dating, I found other friends, friends-of-friends and even family members interested in what I could teach them about online dating.
The idea to write a book began to percolate. I wanted to write it for anyone that was curious and maybe even timid about dating later in life. I continued to refine my tips about safety, creating dating goals, clarifying deal-breakers and boundaries and that is what eventually became my book MODERN LOVE.”
“I speak my mind and I am devoted to giving others the tools to find their own voice. I encourage people to take responsibility for their choices and their happiness. I share my opinions and advice, but ultimately encourage others to make their own decisions, based on their unique circumstances and point of view.
I don’t claim to know what is right for everyone, I don’t have all the answers and I am not a licensed therapist. But I do know that when people really listen to their heart AND their mind and act in alignment with what they hear they feel more in control of their lives and hearts.
Cija is devoted to showing people that change is not as painful as we have been told, and real happiness is not as hard to achieve as you might have accepted. Having “settled” in past relationships, she is an avid proponent of clear dating goals, deal breakers and boundaries to ensure that people create and maintain the structure of a healthy loving relationship.
“The information contained in MODERN LOVE is incredibly close to my heart because I see people forever repeating the same bad relationship habits and giving up control over their own happiness. I know it doesn’t have to be that way.
I believe that if you arm people with the right information they can take charge of their life and change it for the better. They can feel confident about the choices and path they choose for their life. My dating and relationship expertise comes not from a text book, but from lifetime of real-world experience helping people define what they really want and more importantly really what they need.”