It's time for you to hear something that I hope you're willing to admit: the only thing your super-singleness or past failed relationships have in common is YOU.
Here's what I finally learned: We look for the little things to nitpick about men to avoid making grownup decisions and to refrain from looking at a big, giant, hard truth: Your single status is not men's fault!
We can be our own worst enemy when it comes to finding true happiness in the romance department. (I know I certainly was for literally decades.) What on Earth are we doing that's making us look for love in all the wrong places or ultimately just give up all together?
Here are three things to make sure you're NOT doing as you're out in the world looking for that man who's going to float your romantic boat...forever:
Hiding who you truly are.
I meet women all the time who show up on dates as an edited version of themselves. She's the "super-listener" who lets guys drone on. Or maybe she's like I was, the overly-ebullient "I'm super happy and everything in my life is just perfect!" dater.
Sure, there's a seed of truth to the created persona, but it's not the authentic, real self that we are at work, with our family or when we're simply hanging out at home in our pajamas.
You may not even be aware, but chances are that you've created a "single and dating persona." And, contrary to what you may think, men - especially the smart, grownup ones you want to attract - see right through this. And when he does, he may see a woman who's holding something back. Maybe he sees someone he can't trust. I can tell you one thing, he's NOT getting a message that says, "Here I am and I am fabulous!"
Your edited self is not whole, she is not interesting and she is not special. But the REAL YOU to the right man... she is ALL that!
Expecting him to expect perfection.
You don't get to our age without realizing that everyone is going to have a few kinks and a little baggage. Hey, I found a man who loves me despite everything I carry with me. (That includes my big thighs, perpetual lateness, overworking and...you get the idea.)
You see, just like you, grownup men aren't looking for a perfect person. What he is looking for is the woman who fits perfectly into his life. And when you find each other, here's what happens: your baggage lines up quite neatly.
Maybe you don't love your career. Maybe you smashed your car into a pole last week. Maybe your obsession with chocolate or some silly TV show feels like it should be a secret.
Well, it shouldn't.
I'm not saying to spill all your drama on your dates. But sharing bits of these parts of you and your life is what makes you real! (The exercise below will help you with this.)
Anticipating failure from the get-go.
I'm a big believer that what you put out into the world is what you get back. Call it vibes or karma, call it whatever you want. But when you have a negative attitude about men and dating, what type of dates do you think you'll have? Ummmm... negative!
Now take some action and make this work for you!
Here are simple steps, starting with reflecting on your past so that you can have a better future.
1. Define your "dating persona."
Write down all the characteristics of your idealized self that you present to men and the stuff you might be hiding.
Bobbi Palmer of Date Like a Grownup shares advice and tips on finding true love.
2. Now... define the real you in "nuggets."
What are some things about you that you'd want your man to really appreciate. What do you care about? What describes your personality or what you like to do? How do you enjoy life? Just write some very short sentences that describe these things. And then keep these nuggets with you so you can share them!