I want to share a story with you all. One that may strike close to home. It’s about a girl named, Claire, who was pretty, smart, wildly successful, but could not seem to find a boyfriend. Her friends and family couldn’t understand it. They would say to her, “Claire, you are the total package. Why can’t you find a boyfriend?” Claire didn’t get it herself. She would go out with her friends, looking for guys, but for some reason, they never approached her. Finally after years prospecting and having no luck, she turned to the internet. She joined a dating site and immediately started getting responses. For a moment it seemed that Claire’s problem was resolved. Everyday her inbox was full of new messages from eligible men. But soon Claire realized she was no closer to a relationship than she was before. Although men were now asking her out for a date, for some reason they didn’t stick around for a second. Claire was dumbfounded and devastated. Why did this keep happening? She finally resolved the problem of meeting men, but now she had another problem – getting them interested. Refusing to give up hope, Claire decided to just keep going on her internet dates. In six months she went out with twenty four guys. Not one of them asked to see her again. When Claire’s membership was up, she decided not to renew. Instead she tried something different. She turned to a relationship coach.
When Claire walked through my door, she was at her wits end. I was her last hope and resort. I asked her to tell me about her history of dating. I asked her how she typically met guys. I asked her what her dates would talk about, what questions they gave her, and how they ended the night. By the end of the session I told Claire I knew what her problem was.
The biggest clue I got from Claire was that she was not approached in person. She got a better response with her profile pictures. Now, the pictures were recent and accurately displayed what she looked liked, which told me that her appearance was not the issue. She was just as pretty as everyone said she was. But there was something about her, something tangible that men could see, that was turning them off. As she talked to me in my office and answered all my questions, I listened to her, but I was also looking for any mannerisms that could potentially communicate disinterest. It didn’t take long to see it.
Claire started strong. She walked into my office confidently, shook my hand and looked me straight in the eye when she introduced herself. But once I started talking, Claire’s eye contact went from good to non-existent in a matter of seconds. Every time she talked, she was able to look right at me, however, once I regained control of conversation, her gaze went up over my head and to the left…almost as if she was starring at someone right behind me.
I said to Claire, “Do you realize that this whole time, whenever I talk, you break eye contact and look past me?” She was immediately taken aback. “No! I always try to maintain good eye contact. I didn’t even realize it. Do you think this is why I have such trouble with men?”
“Absolutely.” I told her. “Men don’t approach you because they think you are looking at the guy behind them, and the dates you go on think you are bored with their conversation.”
Claire dug deep and realized that she was uncomfortable when she was not in control. When she talked about herself and subjects she knew well, she remained confident, focused and engaged. But once control was transferred to her date, she felt awkward and unsure of herself. So she looked away. Claire would have never realized this problem without coming to see me. No man would have ever told her, and her friends and family would have never seen it because she was too close to them. Once she practiced maintaining the eye contact she started off with (and it is something you must practice) she no longer had a problem getting approached or a second date.
Getting the life or relationship you want can be a difficult task for anybody. Not because it’s an overwhelming process, or because you aren’t smart enough to figure out how to get it yourself. It all has to do with holding the mirror up to yourself and seeing what others see. That is what coaching if for. It’s the mirror that we all need to help us see ourselves accurately, and to help us portray ourselves well. I think of myself like a dating sleuth more than anything. I’m like a detective, searching for clues within you and your past to help you realize what is stopping you from achieving happiness. Once I find it, we map out a plan to get you on track. But then it’s up to you to follow through with it.
If you have never tried coaching before, then this may be the time to do it. Contact me through my website for more information. New! As of September 27, 2011 – You can follow me on Twitter @iamJessMcCann.