Why do so many successful women over 40 stay single? While we do so well in all other parts of our lives, why can the romantic part seem to be packed with challenges and drama?
Pegi Burdick, a dear old friend and coaching client of mine, gives you her personal and professional take.
A little about Pegi, my guest today:
I experienced my own personal financial crisis that led me to discover how people’s feelings about themselves can impact their financial choices.
Out of my journey, the Financial Whisperer Coaching Series was born. To work with me is to take a deep dive into your complicated backstory. My uncanny ability to quickly identify the core issue a person is struggling with can enable my clients to move forward.
On to her post.
I was reviewing some clients’ profiles a while back and started to see a consistent sub-group forming; single, successful women who stay single.
I looked in the mirror, Snow White notwithstanding, and realized I was one of them.
After two divorces and more years single than married, I am recently back on the dating trail. I pondered the question: What are my chances of marrying again before they measure me for a coffin?
My decision to get back into dating came with the realization that I needed help from an expert who understood men better than I did.
I have helped so many women understand how their emotions can impair their financial decisions, I realized I did not have the same innate ability to see men separately from the emotional abuse I experienced as a child.
To me, it all came down to trust. I had never had it with men, but could I change at this stage of my life?
Dating and the possibility of marriage can play an important role in one’s own finances. So instead of simply setting out on my own, I contacted a woman I had met in a business incubator program eight years ago, Bobbi Palmer. Her business, Date Like a Grownup, sounded perfect.
Before I hired Bobbi, I wanted answers from her to questions that I had been contemplating as I re-entered the dating world as a single, successful woman.
This was my takeaway:
Why do you think some women focus more on their career advancement than on advancing their love life?
In business, we think we’re in control. We think we can learn our craft, work hard, be resourceful, and we will achieve great results.
When obstacles appear, we determine a solution, apply it, and keep moving forward.
For many women, this feels much safer than the helplessness and high emotion we associate with dating and relationships.
The shame is that we can have control and feel safe with our conflicting emotions in our romantic life.
We can learn how to date like a grownup, stay focused and committed to our goal, and just like we do in business, manage our feelings in a positive way.
When we approach finding and enjoying love the same way we approach our career, we can truly have it all!
Do you think some women shy away from dating, especially after a divorce? Is it that they lack confidence or the tools to get back in the game?
Yes, on all accounts. Bobbi coaches divorced women from around the world and unfortunately, what they have in common is they’ve taken some pretty nasty hits to their self-esteem.
It’s hard to know who you are as a woman and trust your choices. It’s easy to question your value to men. Our culture breeds it.
And then there’s the difficulty of not dating, often for decades. That can be scary. These are all challenges, though hardly insurmountable.
Divorced or not, Bobbi helps women truly get to know themselves using step one of her six-step Find Hope and Find Him system: Falling In Love With Your Grownup, Sexy, powerful self.
A beautiful change takes place when a woman starts seeing herself through her own eyes — not those of her ex or the media or her family. She can unashamedly fall back in love with herself or do it for the very first time.
So yes, there are proven tools to support any woman who needs confidence and specific how-to direction. Again, like our careers, we just must learn what we don’t yet know.
How has online dating changed in the last 10 years?
Next, demographics have changed. It’s not just for people in their twenties anymore. In fact, boomers have been the largest-growing online dating user demographic for several years.
Lastly, there are so many options. You can use one of the online sites with tens of millions of users, or smaller niche sites for just about any lifestyle. There are also countless apps to help you meet men, even one where women get to do all the choosing.
What misunderstandings do women have about men?
Bobbi said she could write a whole book to answer this, but here are a few of the most common misconceptions:
Men don’t have feelings. Men actually feel very, very deeply, but they don’t express it like we do, so we need to learn how to communicate those feelings to each other.
Some may not know how, but that is an area where you can work together to improve.
Men like low-maintenance women. Not mature, grownup men!
Men want to make women happy, but when you ask for nothing, that’s what you get. Bobbi has helped hundreds of women break the cycle of choosing selfish men simply by teaching women how to ask for what they want.
Men only want sex. Yes, men may love sex, but as they age, their testosterone levels lower and like us, they have learned a lot from their life experiences.
Grownup men want a chance to be a good partner to a good woman.
What becomes meaningful in a relationship is to have a deep connection, to be understood, and to be accepted for who they are. (Sound familiar? We really aren’t that different.)
Can a woman have a successful career and a great marriage?
Hell, yes! But many women need to learn how. That’s where Bobbi and Date Like a Grownup come in. It’s not always roses, but real happiness can far outweigh any challenges.
I’m certainly learning that it’s never too late to learn new skills and overcome emotions that have held me back.
Where’s the caterer’s telephone number.