I remember in high school the very distinct feeling that I would never understand men. The boys I had dated long-term in both high school and college sent me such conflicting messages that I truly believed men simply didn’t have emotions. Not like women did, anyway. After all, how can you tell someone you love them one day, and then blow them off to party with your friends the next? It seemed I was always waiting to hear how the guy felt, what he thought, and where he deemed our relationship was going. Everything was on the guys terms because I cared too much and wanted to work through anything, while they took their time mulling over the pros and cons of being with me. It was frustrating, demoralizing, and exhausting. I remember thinking, how in the world can I sustain a relationship with any man if they aren’t as emotionally invested as I am?!
Luckily, after I graduated college, I met and dated a boy that showed me that not all men are cut from the same cloth. He was sweet, fun, and the first real relationship I had ever had. And thanks to him, my previous philosophy on men being void of emotion completely changed. I realized there would be men in the world that would match my emotional investment, and I learned a few very key insights that helped me continue through the dating world, and end up happily married to my wonderful husband today. Had my mentality not changed on this, I might still be dating in circles right now.
Here is what I want to pass on to women who feel as I did back then.
1. Men need reassurance. I realize now, looking back, that I never really gave any love to my high school old boyfriend. I was brought up that men needed to treat me with respect. I was told they were lucky to be with me, and that I needed to keep them in pursuit. In essence, I just had to “be” in the relationship to make the guy happy and my job ended there. My poor BF brought me flowers, wrote me love notes, and met me after every class. What did I do for him? Complained if he had to stay late at practice, or decided to eat lunch with his friends one day out of the week. Sadly, it didn’t dawn on me until later in life that my job wasn’t to just receive love from a guy, it was to give love to him, too. And that included positive affirmations of my feelings – which I never gave anyone because it was drilled into my head that I was to keep them in hot pursuit at all times. But at some point, the chase has to end for the relationship to really begin.
2. Not all men are created equal. Yes, there are guys out there that are jerks, players, or narcissists, and they do not know how to be in a relationship with anyone. But there are also men that are kind, loving, supportive, yet still strong and masculine. I went into a lot of my younger relationships expecting to be let down and hurt because that is what the guy before and the guy before did. However, assuming this made me defensive and suspicious. In other words, a real joy to be around! I spent a lot of time overreacting to certain situations that warranted no reaction at all because I just assumed all men were the same. If one had wronged me in the past, it was only a matter of time that the current one would too. Letting go of Continue reading
My client, Julie (not her real name,) is a stunner. Men zero in on her the minute she enters a room. She’s got tons of charisma and knows how to flirt like a pro. She never has a shortage of dates. But Julie cannot hold down a boyfriend from more than three months. Three months and the guy moves on to someone else. When she decided to sign up for date consulting, she was 31 years old and void of all hope that she would ever marry.
“I don’t know why I am so unlucky in love,” she told me. “Nothing ever works out for me. I meet guys all the time. You would think at least one would turn into something, but it never does.” Julie was baffled. Her friends told her she was cursed. Her mom told her she was too pretty and intimidating. Her Dad said she was picking the wrong guys.
The truth is, Julie’s big problem was actually fear. Deep down, she was terrified she would end up alone. Whenever she started dating someone, she immediately began treating them as if they were her boyfriend. She would assume “this is it” with every guy she met. She assumed they were in love with her because they had asked for her phone number. She assumed they wanted to spend all their time with her, without really even knowing her. And she assumed whenever they didn’t do exactly what she wanted, they would leave her – and she would immediately get angry and frustrated with them.
Julie had no idea that she was unconsciously sabotaging her relationships. Once we pinpointed the problem, Julie’s work was just beginning. Today, she has to constantly work at keeping her fear at bay. It’s not easy to do, but she has a plan in place and is working on it. Without identifying this problem and working at the solution daily, Julie would keep dating the way she always had, and getting the results she always got.
I went out last week with a girlfriend who is notorious for complaining about men. She’s been dating a new one for a few weeks now and is still very hung up on the fact that his eyebrows are a bit too bushy. That night she said to me, “Jess, I just don’t know if I can have sex with those eyebrows!” Which sounds funny but is also kind of sad. This is the tenth guy she’s dated this year. Yes, I said tenth! And every single one of them has had some atypical attribute she didn’t like. This time it’s the eyebrows, but last time it was the guy’s phone voice. The time before that, it was his bald spot. And the time before that, it was his hairy back. Basically every time she went out with a guy, she always found a physical flaw that ultimately drove her away.
Now, I am one person that has always advocated the motto, “Don’t settle for less than what you want.” I think you should go after whatever and whoever tickles your fancy. But there is a point where you can abuse the phrase. There is a BIG difference in settling for someone who treats you like dirt, or someone that doesn’t share any of the interests you do, than there is settling for bushy eyebrows — because hello, that can be easily changed with some gentle coaxing at the appropriate moment. I’ve noticed a lot of women that are single because they supposedly want to be, all have one thing in common: they are picky to a fault. I’ll admit I was a picky one too, but at some point you have to ask yourself, are you being impossibly picky? Are you expecting too much? I have a client who is 47 years old, has never married, and is the engineer on the picky train. She finds fault with everyone. And you know what, she always will. That is where the phrase, “no one is perfect” comes from. No one is perfect, so if you are looking for the flawless man with the perfect job, family, clothes and eyebrows, you will never find him. Even if you recant with the typical, “I just want someone who is perfect for me!” phrase, I assure you it still won’t exist. Men are just human, and they all have flaws, quirks, and misshaped eyebrows (or something else weird you won’t like.) And in some respect you also have to look at yourself and say, I’m not perfect either, so how can I expect someone else to be. Are you without flaw? Maybe according to you you don’t, but to someone else you may have many.
Most of the time I’ve noticed that women want something in a man that they themselves do not possess. But who we are, is who we attract. So if you don’t eat right and work out, how can you expect to attract someone who is in good shape? If you are frivolous with your money or always in debt, how can you expect to land a guy who is financially responsible?
I’ve learned over the course of my dating career that there are two things to put a top your priority list. 1) look for men with good character. Ones that have the values and goals you want, and not to spend too much time picking at the little things like eyebrows. And 2) the best way to attract a hard-working, attractive, fun and genuine guy is to be all those things yourself. Wouldn’t you agree?
If you are tired of having the same bad luck when it comes to relationships, DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE IT! Email me at email@example.com and get a one-on-one personal consulting session. Together we will figure out what you could be doing wrong, or what you can be doing better so you get the relationship you deserve.
Also check out my book, You Lost Him at Hello and learn the tricks of the trade — Filling your Funnel, Height of Impulse, Mirror Theory — so you can close the deal with any guy you want. Give yourself or a friend the best gift – good advice. New! As of September 27, 2011 – You can follow me on Twitter@iamJessMcCann and check out my new book, Was it Something I Said, hitting stores January 2013.
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“I wish I liked him more. He’s so sweet and thoughtful. He is always on time. He calls when he says he will. And I’m not worried about being hurt this time. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted…but I don’t want him!” she cried.
I was sitting on my couch with Raquel, a client I’d been coaching for only a few months. She had been dating Anthony, a software developer with a small start up business, for only a few weeks. When she had met Anthony, she had just broken up with Jay, her on-and-off boyfriend of three years. She was trying to move on but she was having great difficulty. Raquel’s former relationship was filled with highs and lows. She and Jay were hot and heavy one minute and not speaking to each other the next. Their chemistry was great, but their communication was not. Despite all the head butting though, Raquel was deeply in love with Jay and always thought he was the one. Why they couldn’t just make it work, frustrated her to no end.
Now she was dating Anthony – a guy that made her feel good about herself. A man that wanted to hear her point of view and valued her opinion. Things that, over time, Jay had lost interest in. Besides that, Anthony was cute! He was tall, he had a great body, and he had these adorable dimples that came out whenever he laughed. So why wasn’t Raquel feeling it?
“I keep thinking if I give it more time, I will like him more. But I just don’t get that rush of excitement like I did when I was around Jay. I don’t feel the butterflies,” she told me.
“Is that what you think love feels like? Having your stomach always tied up in knots?” I asked.
Raquel wasn’t sure how to answer.
“I just know that for three years, I had butterflies with Jay. My heart even flutters when I think about him now! Doesn’t that mean something? Isn’t that true love?”
“No,” I told her. “Butterflies after three years of being someone that you couldn’t get along with, does not mean it was true love. It means it was exciting – and it was exciting because Jay was unpredictable. He would spend a whole weekend with you and then not call you for three days. You never knew when you would see or hear from him again and that is why your heart always jumped when he came around. Not because it was true love.”
Adult Love: What does it feel like?
Everyone likes the feeling of falling in love. It’s a beautiful high that carries you throughout your day. It makes average living more lively. It turns the mundane into something remarkable. And when you come in contact with the object of your affection, the rush is nothing short of intoxicating.
We’ve all felt this way at one time or another. My husband gave me the such bad butterflies I could hardly eat around him. Ask him if I have that problem now though, and he’d probably break into a fit of laughter. Eating more now doesn’t mean I love him less, on the contrary, I love him more today than I did the day I married him. But real love doesn’t make you feel so nervous that you may lose your lunch. It feels like something ten times better and a lot less nauseating.
When love is the lasting kind, you don’t feel like you are standing on the edge of a 400 foot cliff (I should know, I’ve actually stood there.) Sure, you may get the butterflies in the beginning but when love is real, it goes deeper than, as Lindsay Lohan put it in Mean Girls, “feeling like your stomach is going to fall out of your butt.” It feels like home. Like a warm cozy room with a fire place. It’s happy. It’s safe, and I’m elated to say, it’s super comfortable. No, you don’t get tongue-tied around your partner after so many years – but you do feel a rush of utter happiness when they walk through the door after a long workday and you would absolutely jump in front of a moving bus if it meant saving them from any harm.
Keeping the Butterflies Alive
Some people mistakenly fight off real love. Have you ever known someone that religiously breaks off every one of their relationships at the same time point in time? Maybe they hit the seven month mark and suddenly decide they “aren’t feeling it” anymore. Or perhaps once the chase ends and commitment begins, they start to lose interest? These people are what experts call, “love junkies” – they chase the high that comes when you start to fall in love, and once they come down from it, they either create turmoil to get the high back, or they move on to someone else to create it all over again. They unknowingly prevent themselves from ever getting to the true love phase. Raquel had become an love junkie, which is why she was still couldn’t let go over her tumultuous past relationship and fall in love with someone stable. If a guy didn’t give her cardiac arrest, she was convinced it meant she didn’t like him. The truth is that Raquel and most love junkies are addicted to the feeling of excitement that uncertainty brings. Not knowing if someone liked her, not knowing when they would call or want to see her again, drove Raquel nuts. It made her feel extremely low. That’s why when the phone finally did ring, the high was so great, it felt like a full on episode of “When Butterflies Attack.” Her relationship with Jay was always in a state of flux, so the butterflies never went away, and she always assumed it meant it was love.
If you are like Raquel and you think a relationship is boring without ups and downs, then you are still dating with a high school mentality. If you are still attracted to guys that aren’t good for you because they keep you on edge, realize that you will be signing up for a stormy relationship, and later a rocky marriage. Yes, you get a rush of adrenaline when after three days and no calls, your phone rings. It’s exciting when you are dating, but it will be hell when you’re married. You don’t want to be at home, pregnant and wonder where your husband is, do you? How your relationship functions right now, is how it will be after you’ve walked down that aisle. Men that are unpredictable (my nice way of saying unreliable), don’t miraculously transform into steady and dependable husbands once they wed. If you have been with someone for years and you still aren’t able to fully relax and be comfortable with them, you aren’t in love… you’re an addict.
Raquel was so used to her roller coaster relationship with Jay, that the stable happy one she had with Anthony seemed lackluster… that is until Anthony broke up with her for not appreciating him.
My advice for any love junkies out there. Be careful chasing butterflies. The good, dependable guy in front of you isn’t boring. You are just strung out. If you need some excitement in your life, don’t get it from boys. Sign up for skydiving. It’s a lot less dangerous.
The reports are fuzzy, but they are there. Jon Mayer and Jennifer Aniston may not be fully back together, but something is definitely brewing between them. For me, that is all I need to hear to say what I am going to say. Is Jennifer Aniston perhaps the dumbest woman alive? Wow. Please for the love of God, someone give her my phone number. I’ve been a big fan of Jen’s for years and yes, I even had the Rachel haircut back in the day, so I’m pulling for her, but cheese and crackers she is making it tough these days.
If she does give Mayer a chance, this will be three times and it won’t be a charm. Hello, Jen, ever hear of the definition of insanity? It’s doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. That is what you are doing. Dating the same ego-centric bad boy musician and expecting him to suddenly turn into loving, selfless, committed boyfriend. Ain’t going to happen.
While I’m at it, Kate Hudson, you may as well get in on this too.
I had a woman email me a few months ago asking for some advice. She has been having an on-and-off relationship with a guy much like Aniston. They would fight and break up but ultimately get back together again. Every time, he swears he’s going to be better, but so far it hasn’t been the case. So how do you know when it’s a good idea to take back your ex? How do you know if it will really work this time?
There are a few good ways to tell if taking back your ex will yield the result you want. Here is what you must do: Continue reading