It’s natural to get frustrated after a divorce, breakup or bad date. So build up dating "callouses".
Have you ever wanted to just “give up” on men? Have you suffered through enough awful dates that you’ve lost your faith that there are any good men out there any more?
If so, you’re not alone.
Recently, I was coaching a very accomplished woman. She is attractive, toned, highly educated and has a great, open laugh. She had been through a long marriage, which ended abruptly, rudely, painfully and lingeringly, and she began to lose her faith in men.
In her case, dating only made it worse! Largely because she wasn’t setting her bar high enough, like so many women online. To a surprising degree, accomplished women are afraid to “strut their stuff” in the dating world, they hold back their best qualities and they are afraid to ask for what they truly want in a man – because they are afraid of chasing men away.
But holding back accomplishes something else – it invites in the mediocre men who think they can “score” with a mediocre woman. What you need to know as a woman is to always take and project joy (if not “pride”) in the awesome woman you are. Shine your joy! And the better men will appear.
So I showed this wonderful woman my published methodology for attracting the best men of character online (see the video here). But her frustration with men required one more essential element that she needed, so that she would once again encounter men from the loving, optimistic heart-place where she used to life. Here’s what we did…
I could see that she had come to resent men and expect so little from them after so many bad dates with men not worthy of her. She had developed what I call “dating callouses.” She had gotten rough toward men. She had hardened. She could no longer feel the good that men offered. I had to resensitize her to the good men.
So I asked her, “Give it to me! What do you hate about men?!”
Her response came out in a torrent, “Uch! They cheat. They give up on life and don’t try! They are not self-confident. They have no ambition. They are shallow and say things like “let’s keep it light.” They are slobs and sloppy and have no sense of style!”
She stopped and drew in her breath. Almost dizzy with her frustration.
“Ok,” I said, “does that describe all men?”
“Right. I thought so. So clear that out for a second. Now what do you love about men?”
“Well,” she began slowly, “I like their long lean bodies when they do yoga and stay in shape. That’s so sexy. I love that they can be gentlemen, and I love when they show finesse under pressure. I love men who can make a living! I love men who feel complete in themselves, you know, self-actuated.” She blushed slightly, “ And I love men’s sexual drive!”
Given the opening, what she loved about men began to flow out. I knew I had to fortify that stream.
So I gave her a practice, to turn that stream into a rive and keep it flowing -- an ongoing meditation.
And it goes like this: as she encounters men on the way into work, in the workplace, at restaurants and on the street, in magazines and on TV, her practice is to find what is lovable about that man.
To become a “Sherlock Holmes” of masculine lovability.
In a way, I became her love optometrist – adjusting her glasses – not quite to rose- colored, but rather to gain clarity - to focus on the good. In many ways, love, as a parent as well as in intimacy, is choosing to see and cultivate the good in another, rather than lambasting and accentuating the bad.
Soon, she called me – and she sounded 15 years younger!
“I saw a father carrying his son on his shoulders and both were singing!” she exclaimed.
“ I watched a young hipster hold the door open for a little old lady, smiling at her and making her smile. I saw men talking deeply and passionately to each other being friends. I noticed that a man at work says please anytime he wants something, and I never realized that before! My own brother called to see how I was feeling, and I saw him not just as my brother for a change, but as a man who looks out for the feelings of women.”
Father. Caretaker. Friend. Lover. Brother. Protector…
No matter how lousy some men have been on dates in the past, men bring you beautiful gifts daily – if only you notice them!
And, importantly, they bring them in man-shaped packages with man-wrapping – which may not be as fancy or sparkly or carefully be-ribboned as you may wish. They may be clumsy or shy or awkward or halting or accessorized with a dash of bravado. We men offer our gifts the only way we know how.
But gifts they remain.
Stay attuned to the gifts that man offer through the day, or attempt to offer. If you find that you have “dating callouses” or “love callouses” after difficult experiences with men, try this practice of “love optometry.”
Wipe away your muddied lenses and see men with clarity once again. And be an explorer, a detective, an adventurer in the goodness of men.
We are eager to have you notice and to love us more deeply into what makes us admirable.
To learn more about how to get inside a man’s mind – especially when it comes to online dating, watch this video….