My best friend Liz is now forty five and at exactly the same place I was at her age. Single, not wanting to be single, but so far, unable to find a guy that also doesn’t want to be single. She’s finally ready to settle down for the long term and can’t find a man to match.
Liz and I look at almost everything with exactly the opposite perspective from each other. And dating is no exception. I come from a matriarch, so women were in charge in my family. Liz comes from a patriarch, so the men were in charge. My tendency is to be overly confident, where Liz has struggled with her self esteem.
Because I’m from a matriarch and give the idea that I look like I know what I’m doing, I attract men who are also from a matriarch. These men are looking for a women who is confident and that they can follow, and I would have a hard time with any man looking to be in control.
In Liz’s case, she would tend to default to a man and would attract men who want to be in charge. One of the upsides to this is that she gets approached and asked out a lot. It wasn’t until I understood more about being from a matriarch that I finally understood why it was always me that needed to do the asking. Liz is also gorgeous, so that definitely helps her chances.
The beauty of it all, is there is always a middle ground that helps us both when it comes to relationships, no matter what our background or family history. Showing up and sharing who you are along with your wants, needs, and desires with a potential paramour will help streamline your process and save you a lot of time and heartache.
Imagine you have a man sitting across from you who you have dated three times now and he has not shared anything about his intentions when it comes to dating or relationships. You have no idea what is going on in his mind. You know what’s going on in yours, which is you are looking for a long term relationship, even marriage. The thing that you don’t know about him, though, is that he has no intention of it at all. He wants to play the field and is happy doing it.
You say to him, “I know we haven’t talked about this yet, but I want you to know that I’m serious about looking for a long term relationship and marriage within the next few years. I only want to be dating men who want to be monogamous and serious as well.”
Now imagine your date running away screaming with his hands in the air as fast as he can as that is likely what will happen next.
It may sting a little that he has run away so quickly, but can you imagine being six months in, having fallen in love and then you find out he isn’t serious? Ouch. That’s a lot of time and emotional investment, not to mention pain when he finally bolts.
If you are the type that doesn’t get emotionally attached quickly and is happy just to hang out in the company of men for the sake of it, then this advice will not apply quite as drastically. Getting your needs met means letting your date know you prefer Chinese food over sushi and pink roses over the yellow. Not life changing stuff.
If you are a struggling single and are feeling caught in the whirlwind of the dating world and need some help to feel more confident, Liz is not only an excellent counsellor, but her life experience in the dating world can help you immensely. Her company is www.thespacesbetweencounselling.com.
This advice also only works if the guy your dating is solid enough in himself to know what he wants and doesn’t want, and what he is capable of. If he doesn’t, and you are finding yourself confused by his answers or feel you are getting mixed messages, then that’s a whole other ballgame. I’m going to address that issue in my next blog, so keep an eye out for it!
Liz and I are called The LOVE Therapists on www.blogtalkradio.com.
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