If you are a woman over thirty five, single and looking for long term love and having difficulty finding it, I suggest you run, don’t walk, to your nearest book store and pick up a copy of the book Attached. www.attachedthebook.com. It will explain a ton about why you are still single from two perspectives:
If you have ever caught yourself asking, “Where have all the good men gone?”
“What am I doing wrong that I can’t find or keep a relationship?”
Either way, this book has a lot of answers for you. It’s the best dating/relationship book I have read in a long time that explains how the dating world works the way it does. It also reveals your own style when it comes to dating.
My mantra is that you have to show up in a relationship. Amir Levine, and Rachel S.F. Heller, the authors of Attached, also believe this is the way to go. Showing up means sharing what your needs, wants and desires are in order to see if your man is on the same page.
But what do you do if you feel confused by your current guys’ answers when you do show up? You have told him that you are looking for a long term relationship and he has said the same. Or has he? Even though he has said he wants a long term relationship, he isn’t acting like it. Has he said that he not only wants a long term relationship, but that he wants one with you? And has he said he is ready to have one right now? You really like him and really want to believe it’s you that he wants, but your heart has a niggling feeling that something just isn’t right. You find you feel confused and upset most of the time.
When you call, he doesn’t even pick up the phone half the time. When you ask what he was doing he stumbles over an answer and you never get a straight one.
You have been dating for eight months now and you still don’t know where he is much of the time and you never know for sure when you are going to see him next. If you ask, he brushes you off and calls you needy for wanting to know so much.
If you can take a deep breath, step back from the situation and look at what is really happening rather than what you think he has said, you will definitely see a discrepancy. And there is a reason for it. The man you are dating has an avoidant dating style according to Levine and Heller’s latest reasearch. He is getting his needs met, but it’s difficult for anyone with an avoindant style to meet anyone else’s needs, never mind have an effective relationship.
I should know. I am an avoidant dater.
What? Aren’t you married? (I can hear your mind asking the question.)
Yes, it’s true, I am. But it took me forty eight years and many, many years of personal development to be able to get here. Not to mention overcoming the everyday struggles I still have sometimes.
My husband, Neil, seems to know this stuff instinctively. On our first date after twenty years, he told me all of his feelings were going to come rushing back quickly and he wasn’t going to continue to date me. He knew from history that I was likely to dump him and run again. I told him I understood, and I had to convince him that I had done years of counselling and was finally ready and willing to face the challenges of a real, long term relationship. He had to learn to trust me again and I had to keep stepping up the plate. And I still do.
It takes a lot of insight, personal delving, sharing and continued willingness with counselling help to be able to switch from being an avoidant dater to being someone who is solid enough to stay in an effective relationship where both parties have their needs met.
All I can say is read the book and if you discover that you are in a relationship with an avoidant dater and you still want to stay in the relationship after that, then at least you have all of the information. You understand why you feel so unsatisfied and never feel like your needs are met. I guarantee you, no amount of trying is going to make any difference.
If you ever get tired of the pain and want to get some help, check out www.clearmind.com. Or, my best friend Liz has some great experience and insight and can offer one on one counselling at www.thespacesbetweencounselling.com. And don’t forget to read my book when it comes out. It will help you discover why you are attracted to avoidant men and what you can do about it.
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