Like me, Mary always believed that the sign he could be The One was that nervous, unexplained excitement you feel that either happens quickly or never at all. On her first dates if she didn’t feel that chemistry, she would cut the date short, go home disappointed, put on her jammies and continue dreaming about Mr. Butterfly-man.
I helped Mary deepen her definition of what a good man looks like: someone with whom she could see herself happily spending the rest of her life. She also realized that she had been using this measurement since she was in her teens and it had never served her. She was waiting for love to sweep her away, and that only left her alone.
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Mary quickly came to see my truth: that a good man could be camouflaged as a not-great-date and that it could take some time to uncover love and attraction between two people. In the first month of our work together, Mary dated three men, two of whom she dated three times. In these men she saw worthy qualities that could possibly mean they’d be great partners. That meant possible future butterflies, so she gave them a chance.
None turned out to be The One. (That’s what dating is, btw: a bunch of “no’s” before that one super “yes.”) So what, you say? Who cares about this if he doesn't turn out to be Mr. Butterfly-man in the end?
Well, here is what Mary now has that she never had: hope. She is no longer waiting for that one elusive man to show up and instantly rock her world. She now sees that there are many quality single men looking for smart, independent, over-40 women like her and that with an open mind and heart, she will find him.
I get asked this question all the time: When I'm not feeling that excitement, how do I decide when to go out with him again? Do I have to go out with everyone more than once? Here’s my standard answer: Butterflies be damned! If he doesn’t spit while he eats or insult your mother, if the idea of touching him doesn't gross you out…go out with him again.
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Here are some other good indicators that you might be talking to a man worthy of another date:
- He asks what you’d like to do on your date. (I know this annoys some of you, but it really is a GOOD sign. It means he wants to please you.)
- He shows up on time, enjoys himself and happily pays for your date. (And you, of course, graciously accept.)
- If you share something important about yourself (and you should without expecting him to ask) he listens and seems to care. (It’s not necessarily a bad sign if he doesn’t ask you many questions. He may be nervous, thinks it rude to interrogate you or just doesn’t have the skill set.)
- He respects your personal space.
- He is kind to wait staff and others around you.
- He seems to care about what you think about him.
- He seems to expect you to treat him with respect and kindness.
Butterflies come from so much more than the color of his eyes, the cut of his suit or how hard he makes you laugh. Just about every woman who I’ve helped find love after 40 will tell you that the guy she is with was someone she never would have looked at before.