My Dad died. There…I said it out loud. Even though I was by his side and saw him take his very last breath, it’s been hard to believe he’s gone forever. F-o-r-e-v-e-r. I wanted to write this article for Thanksgiving so I could publicly thank him and show my gratitude. How trite, I thought. It doesn’t do him justice. So I write now. On a dreary Friday in November. Just another day like every single day since October 2 when I think of him and wish he were here.
DATE LIKE A GROWNUP
At least half of all the emails I get from wonderful women who are over 40 and looking for love are about the same question you’ve probably been asking since you were a teenager: “Is he in to me?” Often the answer is: If you have to ask, he’s probably not.
Successful, independent, beautiful, sassy, chic, powerful and tenacious are all badges of honour that women wear to describe the modern women’s freedom to be all she can be. Unfortunately, those same esteemed titles lead to another title for women: SINGLE! Yes, we all like to prove our successes but the reality is that most men prefer the nurturer and none of these above characteristics attract the opposite sex, or at least not the ones we would be interested in.
"If it were a snake, it would 'a bit ya!" That's what Ethel Mertz always said to her husband Fred (Lucy Ricardo's neighbors in I Love Lucy) when he'd wander around looking for his glasses – which were always on top of his (bald) head. Do you remember that?
Over the past few months I’ve profiled six types of women – I call them FemiTypes – who have less than healthy relationships with men. I’ve written about The Princess, The 18 Year Old, The Scaredy Cat, The Wow-Me Woman, The Bitter Woman and The Sexpot. Why have I written about women when you really want to know about men? Because I know it will help lead you get to where you want to be: in a loving relationship with a man who is devoted to you.
Let me start today by telling you how magnificent you are. The fact that you are a woman over 40 and reading this tells me that you are all the more spectacular. Really, it does! One of the reasons finding love over 40 can be the most gratifying time of all is that you know your sphere of power. You’ve learned you are only in control of you, no one else. Life has taught you that you cannot control co-workers, friends, and especially the men you date…or marry, for that matter. (Though I’m quite sure you occasionally try.)
In an effort to help you understand the man side of this midlife dating experience, I’ve introduced you to The Princess, The 18 Year Old, The Scaredy Cat and The Wow-Me Woman: all FemiTypes* that send good men running. Today I’m going to talk about perhaps the most challenging of all FemiTypes: The Bitter Woman. She is a little scary, a lot angry, and all about being a victim. Not only does she scare and briefly traumatize the men she meets, but her bitterness probably seeps into all areas of her life.
Women constantly push really good guys right out of their lives without even knowing it. We do it by behaving in ways that, until pointed out by someone else, are a complete mystery. Finally, having this pointed out to me in my early 40s was a huge part of my transition from a pretty happy single gal to, at age 47, a truly fulfilled wife of a loving and adoring man.
Not everyone has the same goals in mind when they enter the Dating World and if you don’t know that fact you are likely to be surprised and disappointed in most of your attempts at relationships. Most people assume that everyone out in the Dating World has the same goals in mind. If we are looking for True Love followed by marriage and kids, or no kids, we assume that’s what everyone we date is looking for too. We believe it is the Right Way and the Only Way to live life and have relationships.
We all know that dating over 40 can be a bit of a jungle with challenges, surprises and pitfalls. I'm sure you've encountered your share of "pingers" — the disappearing men, needy men and players as you meet single men. I get it, and you belong to a large, loving sisterhood. But it's not only us gals who have dating disasters ... Men have their fair share of icky, confusing, ego-crushing experiences too. Previously, I've introduced you to The Princess and The 18 Year Old but today, you'll learn about the Scaredy Cat. Deep down, the Scaredy Cat feels unworthy and afraid to receive love and attention, especially from potential romantic partners. She has been wounded by past relationships and hasn't been able to move on emotionally. While she carries these wounds below the surface and aren't there for all to see, given the proper trigger (like a man not calling exactly when he says he will), her fear can take center stage at a moment's notice.
Dating like a grownup is the quickest path to finally enjoying mutually nurturing relationships with men who are full of respect, adoration and commitment. If you're going to date like a grownup, developing empathy for men is crucial. Just like all your relationships, when you have the ability to step outside yourself and get into someone else's head and heart (even just a little), your connections instantly improve.
If you’re going to be a successful dater (which means you have fun and meet good men), an essential tool is the ability to empathize with the men you meet. Empathy is not feeling sorry for someone. It’s being able to put yourself in their shoes and understand their experience. I believe that the only way women can truly do that with men is to hear their stories firsthand. In my years of coaching I have gathered thoughts, feelings and stories from men in their early 30s up to their 70s, and clear patterns have emerged.
People ask me all the time for dating tips and advice, and I definitely have some current favorites. Whether you’re back on the dating scene after a divorce/difficult breakup/death of a spouse; whether you were plain old dumped and are afraid to have your heart broken again; are a single parent; are intimidated by online dating; wouldn’t know where to start or even what to say if you saw someone you liked; or are simply starting over, try these twelve tips on for size.
When I was single, I had a love-hate relationship with weekends. I loved having the extra time off work, but I hated that I did not have a man to spend the time with. The truth is that I did not need a man to have fun or accomplish something meaningful. In many cases, I just needed "me time." Here are 30 fun activities to try!
This week I spoke with my client, “Sue,” who recently entered the online dating world. Right off the bat she had scoped out a profile she really liked and emailed him. He seemed interested, attentive and pretty fabulous on paper. The next thing you know…she has a date!
My guess is that you’ve been dating a while and not getting great results. You’re here reading this, after all. The best way to shift into having dates that render positive outcomes – like having more fun and eventually meeting The One – is to change the way you talk to yourself before you even leave the house.