I know you say you’re looking for a loving and committed man to share your life, but I have to ask…have you found yourself yet? I know you’ve heard this before and it sounds trite, but everyone says it for a good reason. If the answer to the question is no, beats me, or who cares…then you probably have a few steps to take before you’re going to attract Mr Right. Here’s what I propose: stop focusing on him and start focusing on you.
This is especially true if you’re a woman dating over 40. You have your career, friends and family pretty well figured out. I’m betting you do quite well as a single gal. It’s also likely you have spent decades taking care of others and are not used to — or even unable to — think of yourself first. Also, you’ve soaked in more gunk than a sponge sitting in a sink for a month that’s never been squeezed out. (Gross analogy, but purposeful.)
You are filled with unfulfilled relationships; twisted body image; ideas of how men are and should be; doubts about your intelligence, personality or worthiness as a partner…I can go on and on. These are the truths that drive your every move (and not just in relation to men). They show up in every part of your life. Maybe you don’t have close female friends. Maybe you can’t stand your boss but have no idea how to improve the situation. Maybe you have never taken that trip or class that you say you want so badly. And when it comes to men, maybe you don’t date at all. Or when you do, you don’t get called for a second date. Maybe you stay in bad relationships or only have short, disappointing affairs.
I know people say that “he” shows up when you’re not looking. This is not what I’m talking about here. He — the good guy who will make a fantastic husband —shows up when you are ready to receive him.
Here are two stories of women who found their perfect matches after decades of bad relationships with men, and another of a fabulous woman who is dating as she learns how to enjoy being single. All these gals focused on themselves first, and it changed their lives forever.
Debbie M., age 54, fired me after our fourth private coaching session. She decided she wasn’t ready for a man after all and wanted to stop dating all together. I suggested we keep working together and just forget men: we’d focus on her. (This is part of my job as a dating and relationship coach. If you want to give up, I’m going to be there to keep you hopeful and moving forward.) Debbie agreed and continued to work on falling in love with herself.
About one month later she was shaking it on the dance floor with a girlfriend. A guy in the band saw her and approached her. It’s this man she has been with for over a year now. They just returned from a trip to Kauai. Here are a couple notes she sent me during our time working together:
Just wanted to check in and let you know how things are going. I had a very nice surprise Valentine weekend. When I got home from work on Saturday, I walked in and candles were lit all over the house. He had a dozen red roses sitting on the table with a glass of wine and a card that actually played fireworks when I opened it. Then we went to dinner and then out dancing. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
I have found a very special man. I truly believe I am in love for the very first time. This relationship is so different from any other, and I am accepting it instead of questioning it. I am enjoying it, having fun and believing that he truly loves me also. His actions speak as clearly as his words.
Thank you again for all of the help you have given to me. I guess you were right: I was ready for a great guy in my life. I even told him this morning that I wouldn’t have been ready for him right now if I hadn’t done the work necessary to figure out who I was and what I truly deserved. I have discussed you with him, and he is so supportive. He has done some work on himself over the years and so appreciates that I have worked on the things necessary to be in a great relationship and recognize it. Who would have thought!
Just wanted to let you know that all is well and the love just continues to grow. You are great!
And then there is Shari B., age 50. Shari was dating two men when she started coaching with me. She was looking for love, yet neither were “commitment kind of guys.” After just two sessions together Shari “got it” and dumped both men. After a few more, “Joe” showed up. Actually, he was already around as a friend; she just wasn’t noticing him. Why? Because first she had to get to know herself. She had to understand how special and worthy of love she was. She also needed to be clear on the type of man that would bring her happiness for life. Once she did that work, as she says, “voila!” He was right in front of her. Now she knows how to build a great relationship, and she and Joe are talking about marriage.
Just as you said this morning about how easy a great relationship is, it is. Joe and I are growing in such wonderful ways together, and there’s effort on both sides. And, yes, we love each other and are willing to be vulnerable and share. What a nice place to be. My anxiety level is way down. I did what you did in dating: dating the guys I couldn’t possibly get. And finally, because of your great homework, I learned I really do want a nice man as my companion. I do see that I have a tendency to push men away, and I am feeling this come up every once in a while with Joe. I think, “How can he possibly really love all of me?” I freak out a bit inside about the things I don’t like about myself and impose them on Joe and think, “How can he love all of me?” Then I get scared, want to protect myself, and put a little wall up around me.
The great thing is that, following your advice, I let him know when this is happening. And he hugs me and spends time talking with me about what is going on in my mind. I have always wanted a relationship where I feel important and cared about, and voila! Here we are! Such freedom in a loving, caring, respectful relationship. I appreciate you so very much, and your coaching is right on!
Last, there is Jo, age 42. Jo is dating a little bit. While she is hopeful she will find her ideal life partner, for now we are working on creating her best life possible. When she came to me, she was stuck in a rut and doing essentially the same thing every day. She let years of “stuff” get in the way of enjoying people and enjoying life. She is now working hard, and it’s improving every aspect of her life. Here is a note from her that I received at the beginning of the new year.
At the end of the month I note what I felt was my biggest accomplishment. Then at the end of the year I made a list of those things I felt were the biggest movements for the year. Here’s this year’s list due in large part to YOU:
1) Did new things
2) Self improvement (dating)
3) Spent more time with friends
4) Traveled more
5) Achieved new things at work
I hope these stories have inspired you to make this the year you get to know and love yourself as well as attract that ideal man into your life. Getting to know myself, realizing I was pretty awesome and creating a good life for myself…that’s what led me to Larry. That’s also what led these gals to their happiest lives. Are you going to join us?