By Jane Atkinson
A few weeks ago, on the new hit show Whitney, one of the characters was freezing her eggs in order to delay finding a partner and having children. Is this a sign of the times?
Both women and men are waiting longer and longer to get married for the first time, according to the Census Bureau, and fewer women are having babies before their 40th birthdays, the Centers for Disease Control reports. Interestingly, more and more women are having babies well into their 40s. Could it be that it has become more difficult for couples to connect romantically?
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“Women are likely to be more independent and professionally successful than they were a generation or two ago, and that’s wonderful, but it can come with baggage,” says Jane Atkinson, author of The Frog Whisperer: A Three-Step Approach to Finding Lasting Love. “We’re less likely to think about the energy we’re putting out to others, particularly the opposite sex, and that energy has a lot to do with how people react to us.”
The thing is, finding Mr. or Ms. Right requires taking your eyes off of work and focusing on yourself more. What can you do to become the person you would want to date? Atkinson offers some tips for finding “the one.”
Figure out what you’re looking for: Have you thought hard about what kind of person you’re looking for? One trick is to visualize your perfect day. Are you at the beach? Traveling? Is the man with you quiet or chatty? Is the woman serious or funny? Does he want children? Does she go to church? This will help you identify the characteristics and values of your Mr. or Ms. Right so you can recognize them when he or she comes along.
Get happy in your own head: Once again, it’s all about attraction. Putting out positive, confident energy will attract the same. Besides, it’s never a good idea to rely on other people to make us happy. If you need to recover from old hurts, lose weight or find a job, take care of that business first.
Think you’re ready? Test yourself with this quick quiz.
1. Are you happy with yourself? (Or are you miserable because you’ve put on 50 pounds since your divorce?)
2. Are you looking for someone to rescue you or take care of you? (If you answer “yes” to this one, you may not be ready.)
3. Is there room in your life for a relationship? (Or do you have three kids and work a 60-hour week?)
4. Has enough time passed since your last relationship? (Or are you still wounded?)
Now, get yourself fabulous. Rather than, “Why can’t I find a good man?” ask yourself, “Who do I need to become to attract the man (or woman) who is perfect for me?” It’s not about changing you; it’s about being your best you. Part of that is your mojo – your self-esteem. If your mojo is slipping, you’ll attract control freaks, players and jerks. Pump it up with a makeover, a workout, a sincere inventory of your attributes.
Get out there! Put on your sexy jeans get yourself out the door. Where to start looking? If you enjoy working with your hands, volunteer for a Habitat for Humanity project. If you’ve always wanted to learn Italian, take a class. If you love to do yoga, check out a new studio (ladies, you’ll find a surprising number of guys there.) Perhaps you find a new church or take a class on Buddhism. The list of meeting spots for singles is a long one: bookstores, dance clubs, supper clubs, book clubs, gyms, golf courses, rowing clubs, dog parks.
Atkinson’s tips come from real-life experience. At 40, she realized she’d been kissing a lot of frogs and found not one prince. She applied the model she developed for her business, tweaked it and came up with “The Frog Whisperer” – and a prince of a husband.
Although it was never in her playbook to have children, when she got married, she became an instant stepmom and grandmother (G-Ma) to now 4-year-old Jayden. Looking back, she realizes it sure beat freezing eggs and starting down the difficult road to conception in mid-life!
Jane Atkinson is the author of The Frog Whisperer and The Frog Whisperer Journal as well as a Positive Practice audio CD to help women (and men) get mentally ready for meeting their perfect mate. She lives in London, Ontario, with her husband of four years, John.