Often I hear women say, “All the good men are taken” or “I can’t find the right guy.” There seems to be a general belief that all the available guys are jerks (and some of the married ones, too). But, when I was dating, in my 20s and again in my 40s, I found many good men. How?
First, I think many women make the mistake of looking for perfect men. I’m sorry to tell you, but there are no perfect men. And….there are no perfect women…nor any perfect children, either. So, if you are out there looking for flaws in the men you meet, you will always find them! Because, bottom line, there are no perfect people.
Second, I think most women don’t really know what they want and need in a companion. I think we have been fed a lot of baloney by the media. We are led to believe that the Ideal Man is like the current “sexiest man alive.” Or we watch Magic Mike and think we should have a man with a terrific six pack and gorgeous hair. We want a man we can show off to our friends, like a trophy we won. Like a stamp of approval that says, “I am worth it, I’m a winner.”
All this malarkey creates a shallow relationship. These men are like cardboard characters. These men aren’t real. It’s the same as men yearning after the photo shopped and silicone enhanced Barbie dolls in Playboy magazine. Those women aren’t real. When we search for a cardboard character of a man we end up with a cardboard relationship. Women often tell me stories of finding the “perfect” man: he’s gorgeous, he works out regularly, dresses with style, has a great job, keeps his car clean, etc, etc. All the “external” things look great. But when they want to start a relationship they find out his focus is all surface and he avoids anything deeper, such as commitment. No wonder women feel disappointed!
Third, a lot of the skills we have been told to use when meeting and dating men are all about playing games, following some set of “rules” and hiding our true feelings. In short, we are told to present a fake image. And this is supposed to help us find a real man and develop a real relationship. No wonder the divorce rate is so high. A few years into the relationship, both partners are saying, “You’re not who I thought you were.”
When you want a real relationship, it’s important to be authentic. For example, imagine that you are going to the store to buy some new shoes. Perhaps your feet are large, maybe size 10, and you are embarrassed because you want to have perfect (dainty and feminine) size 7.5 feet. So you tell the clerk you are looking for shoes in size 7.5, and you buy a gorgeous pair of 7.5 shoes. But, when you get home and try to wear them, they don’t fit, they hurt, and you hobble down the street and into the office. You were not “authentic” about who you are when you were shopping for shoes and so they don’t fit. The same is true when you go “shopping” for a man. If you are not authentic about who you are, then the man you find will not be a good fit for you.
And just so you don’t go overboard with being authentic, there is no need for you to shop for shoes when your feet are dirty. And there’s no need for you to be obnoxious and show your worst side on a date either. Just sayin!
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