I recently attended a screening of The Backup Plan with Jennifer Lopez. In the film, Jennifer plays Zoe, an ex corporate type who's reinvented her career and, on the verge of turning 40, decides to reinvent her personal life too. With no Mr. Right in sight, Zoe decides she's not waiting any longer to start a family. After getting artificially inseminated, Zoe meets Mr. Right. Go figure.
As I watched the movie, I couldn't help but notice that Zoe made many of the common mistakes my single women clients have made in the past. In fact, she committed 4 of the cardinal dating sins that keep single women minus a Plus One:
Mistake #1: They Allow Work to Consume Them
Even though she left fast paced corporate America to open her own business, Zoe still seems consumed by her work. She's attractive, successful, and yet completely un-dateable because her life is all about work. And even when she meets a nice, interested, available guy, she initially does her best to chase him away. As a coach, this is a common mistake I see single women make. So many women are so committed to the idea that if a man is interested in them, there must be something wrong with him, that they dismiss potentially really great guys without giving them a chance. And then they re-immerse themselves in work mode, staying in masculine energy that makes them not only hard to approach but practically impossible to connect with.
Mistake #2: They Believe Time Has Run Out
In the movie, Zoe believes time has run out on her chance to get love, marriage, and babies right. And that's where she's wrong. It's also where so many single women are wrong. While it may have been true that once upon a time love, marriage, and babies had a predictable timeline, in 2010 our lives are less predictable. And that's a good thing. As many women are delaying marriage until our 40s and 50s, the truth is we are never behind schedule. We're right on time for our lives. And yes, I understand the biology isn't always on our side. But if you truly want to have a family, not being able to bear your own children shouldn't be the deal breaker. You can adopt, hire a surrogate, be a foster parent, or even a step parent to your future partner's children.
Mistake #3: They Ignore Good Men
I see this time and time again. When a woman believes that there are no good men available, all she sees is proof that she's right. I invite every woman who believes that all the good ones are taken to let go of her need to be right and instead step in to the desire to be happy. The truth is, there are good men everywhere. Not all of them are available. Not all of them are interested. And you're not interested in all of them. However, by acknowledging and celebrating these good men, even if they simply open a door for you, let you ahead of them in line at the grocery store, or compliment you on your perfume, this is an opportunity to recognize a good man. When you start celebrating the good men you interact with every day, and lighten up on your need to be right about your belief that there are no good single men left, you will change who you attract. In the process, you can attract somebody pretty fabulous.
Mistake #4: They Run The Other Way
Time and time again, I see single women asking for a good guy to show up. And then when he does, they have the urge to run the other way. This is actually perfectly natural. If all a woman has ever experienced in her dating life is frustration, disappointment, and lack of emotional availability, then that's what she's used to. However, if she wants a different dating result, she's got to change her behavior. As initially uncomfortable as receiving interest, adoration, and genuine connection with a good man can feel when you've never felt it before, now's the time to get uncomfortable. Let yourself experience a different dating result. That's what you've asked for. Celebrate what you've manifested, move through the discomfort, and into the pure enjoyment of getting to know someone truly amazing who's truly interested in getting to know you.
When it comes to creating a life you love and attracting the love of your life, the key lies in getting really clear about how you may have sabotaged your success in the past. Once you acknowledge how you may have contributed to past disappointment and drama, you can change your behavior. With that simple act, you can create new beliefs and behavior and ultimately enjoy different (and better) results.