The Scoop: Shannon Bradley Colleary learned how to build relationships the right way by doing it the wrong way for many years. After two toxic relationships, she recognized her mistakes, went to therapy, and did deep emotional work to change her dating habits. Then she fell in love with her Mr. Right. Now she blogs about her personal experiences and shares love insights with readers around the globe. Over the years, Shannon has produced many resources, including her book, “She Dated the #Asshats But Married the Good Guy,” to support daters on the journey to a healthy, happy life. Whether she’s coaching clients individually or speaking at a conference, Shannon delivers sage counsel backed by real-life experience.
Like so many people, Shannon Bradley-Colleary was a child of divorce. While her parents were very loving, and the dust eventually settled, as an adult she found herself repeating some of the bad dating patterns and dysfunctions she saw as a child. After two painful relationships, she realized she didn’t know what she was doing and that she had to find a way to make better decisions for her future.
Shannon looked inside herself for the courage to change her life. In her 30s, her love life did a complete 180, and she met the man she would later marry. They have been together over 20 years now and have two teenage daughters.
As a happily married woman and mother, Shannon began writing about her perspective on love and discussing how her pain and disappointment was the rocket fuel behind her love story. This message resonated with readers, particularly single women, who needed advice and support.
Shannon’s blog, cheekily titled The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful (TWFKAB), quickly took off. When she saw her love advice columns were the most popular, she created a coaching site and ShannonColleary.com so she could reach readers who have struggled with love and relationships. This led to a thriving career as a certified coach, public speaker, bestselling author, and friendly blogger.
“I’m not a lofty person preaching from on high,” she said. “I don’t judge you because I’ve been where my clients are, and I know how hard it is to change. My goal is to help women and men choosing toxic love to forgive themselves, accept the reality of their situation, and ask for help. I certainly make suggestions based on what’s worked for me — but each client is different and needs to be met where they are.”
The Newsletter Discusses Dating With a Sense of Humor
Shannon writes as if she were sitting on the couch and sharing a glass of wine with her best friends in the world. She lets her guard down when talking about her experiences and expresses her takeaways clearly and with a fair amount of humor. Her blog is a place for contemplation as well as laughter.
Whether she’s writing about the tell-tale signs of love addiction or the benefits of midlife married sex, Shannon relates to her audience first and advises them second. Her confessional blogging style is compelling because it shows readers that change is possible and that they’re not the only ones facing these heartbreaking issues.
“You can never change someone else,” she said. “You have to change yourself first.”
If you’ve perused the blog and want more Shannon-esque guidance, you can always sign up for the weekly newsletter to get upbeat and constructive dating advice sent to your inbox. Her newsletter currently has over 3,500 subscribers, and she said her open rate is encouragingly high. For Shannon, it’s all about demystifying dating for singles, especially women, who feel stuck, alone, and undervalued.
“If our paradigm for relationships is damaged, we can get confused,” she said. “A lot of people are pleasers, and they honestly don’t know how to recognize toxic behavior.”
That’s where Shannon comes in. Her down-to-earth yet sure-footed tone informs readers without talking down to them. She isn’t a self-proclaimed guru telling people how to live their lives. She’s a woman who has overcome her own obstacles and wants to do her part to help others enjoy similar triumphs.
“I feel very maternally protective of my audience,” she told us. “I want to give them a big hug, and I want them to feel safe because they know I’ve been where they’re at.”
Shannon has taken on private coaching clients in the past,and she said she could see herself offering group coaching sessions someday in the future. Right now, however, her focus is on writing with compassion, clarity, and charisma.
Sharing Experiences & Insights in a Self-Help Book
Once her blog took off, Shannon realized she could positively influence daters by telling them about her experiences falling into bad relationships and then falling in love. So that’s what she did. She wrote “She Dated the #Asshats But Married the Good Guy” as a memoir with actionable dating tips and love lessons in every chapter.
The main purpose of Shannon’s self-help book is to help readers identify their dating patterns and eradicate unhealthy habits. The book outlines 12 steps to take readers from toxic love to fulfilling relationships. She zeroes in on the insecurities and misconceptions that keep singles in bad relationships, and then challenges readers to change their perspectives so they can change their lives.
“My book resonates with people who want to change who they are in the dating world, psychologically and emotionally speaking,” she said.
Her book has been an inspiration to single men and women from all walks of life. In fact, 95% of its Amazon reviews give it five stars.
“It demystifies codependency,” said one satisfied customer. “I highly recommend this book to anyone preoccupied with changing or controlling their partners.”
Shannon’s talent for writing has driven her blogging career forward, establishing her as a relatable voice in the dating industry, but now, as luck would have it, she has returned to her original passion of screenwriting. A script she wrote years ago has been picked up by Warner Brothers, and she is currently dealing with that whirlwind of stress and excitement.
Looking to the future, Shannon said she sees a lot of opportunities on the horizon to tell a story, make people smile, and spread a positive message to the world. She plans to grow her online audience by developing do-it-yourself coursework and group sessions focused on empowerment and education.
A Hopeful Message Helps Singles Heal Broken Hearts
Shannon described her core audience as singles ranging in age from 25 to 50. They’re relationship-ready but just haven’t found that special person yet. Many readers are women who feel their biological clocks are ticking and want to accelerate the path to love. They show up to the blog looking for answers, comfort, and support, and Shannon offers a down-to-earth perspective on love, dating, and relationships. She encourages singles to follow their hearts and remember that dating should be fun.
After reading her blog, a lot of readers say they feel lighter and more optimistic. “Your blog is amazing!” wrote Inez Coffman in a comment. “I cannot stop laughing! You are hilarious and so true to heart.”
Ali Kaufman stumbled upon Shannon’s blog in 2012 and found it brightened her day. “Thank you for the laughs,” she wrote. “Love your style. Thanks for making our age look so G-damn good. Wishing you much success and happiness.”
Another TWFKAB reader gushed, “You have a way of putting into words what I don’t even realize I feel. Your honesty is refreshing.”
Honesty and positivity are very much essential to Shannon’s blogging style. She prides herself on speaking the truth with a wry smile and a dash of wit. She aims to be like a supportive BFF to singles out there.
“I’d love to leave a message of hope with them,” she said. “I want to tell singles who are struggling that the relationship you think isn’t possible is possible — it just requires work and commitment.”
Shannon Bradley-Colleary is a Relatable & Wise Mentor
Shannon’s fairy-tale ending didn’t fall in her lap. She had to do a lot of growth work to make it happen. She had to leave the wrong guys and commit to finding the right guy for her. Now she is happily married and can lend her experience to singles struggling to recognize what’s going wrong and how they can fix it.
As a blogger, author, and certified life coach, Shannon has inspired many modern singles to take a hard look at themselves and then take action to improve their love lives. Rather than portray herself as an all-knowing dating guru, Shannon tells her readers that she’s just like them and understands what they’re going through because she has gone through it too.
“As soon as you commit to your emotional, mental, and spiritual health, you can change your life,” she said. “And it doesn’t have to be my path. There are a lot of paths available once you start to look for them.”