If you are like me, you’ve already been through a marriage or two, have experienced a few heartbreaks and relationship disappointments, and may find yourself hesitant to open up fully and risk getting hurt (again).
Recently I moved to a new state and separated from a man with whom I was compatible and whom I loved deeply. Long-distance relationship is not for me—I want real man’s attention, in real time.
Feeling lonely after the break up, I decided to try dating online. As I read through the profiles of the hundreds men who approached me, I began to notice common themes. Some have written extensive descriptions for the ladies, telling them what not to do. Others outlined clearly what is important for them. And then, there were the classic one-liners. As I kept reading, I noticed that underneath the seemingly surface requirements transpired deeper stuff.
Based on my latest interactions with men in search of a partner, and what I’ve learned in 15 years of researching and decoding men’s behavior, I am offering a few insights, which I trust can help women to understand men a bit more and approach dating differently.
I know it could be really frustrating to be out there—looking for love. It may feel like there’s lots of competition and players who may leave you feeling flawed, used and heartbroken. But I believe that with some inner work and a few adjustments, you too could have the amazing relationship that you desire and deserve.
My recent online experiences and observations lead me to believe that the big problem in today’s internet dating is that both men and women enter a dating site as if it’s a battle field—expecting an enemy to show up. Both seem shielded, armed, and ready to defend themselves.
Living in times of no defined roles, no clear rules, and no firm boundaries, we seem to be afraid of each other and expect to get hurt.
But this is the worst thing we can do when looking for love and intimacy. Love and intimacy require showing up without armor. They require trust. They require openness.
Intimacy comes from taking emotional risks. But in today’s dating this seems difficult to do—because navigating online waters feels dangerous for most of us.
In the first part of this article I outlined a few dating tips for men. Here I offer some insights geared towards mature women dating online. Yet I believe they could really be of service to anyone.
1. Sex is not the only thing a man wants. Yes, it is high on his list (and perhaps on yours too), but today’s man wants more. Like you, he wants connection. Like you, he wants to feel safe. Like you, he wants a partner he can trust and rely on. Like you, he wants to be valued, respected and loved. Like you, he wants to feel special, desired and important. Like you, he wants to grow and contribute—and he is aware that it’s more fun, and more possible to do it with you. Like you, he wants to live to his full potential and show up at his best.
2. Help him to begin, and keep the conversation going. Most men feel quite vulnerable when they approach a woman they like. And most men have no clue how to do it.
Most men feel threatened when they have to reveal something about themselves. Men are trained to cover their traces—they are warriors or hunters. Understanding this can inspire you to be more creative and more compassionate when he attempts to begin a conversation.
Your job is to create emotional safety for him, just as he is creating safety for you by revealing who he is. Most men are helpless when it comes to conversations with women. Help him and he will be grateful for it. This will separate you from the rest and he will begin to open up to you in the way you’re longing for him to open up.
3. Have your boundaries in place. It’s easier to feel safe and make better choices when you know exactly what you want. Learn to say no without feeling guilty. Then your yes will be more real, too.
4. Select a man who is willing to make you happy. I know women who choose a man solely by height or age. Later on they may wonder why their more important needs are unmet in the relationship. I’m not an exception—I too want to be with a man who looks good. But I learned to choose what matters most to me. I now prioritize a man who shares my values and helps me fulfill my deepest human needs.
So don’t always go for chemistry at first glance. Allow yourself to be surprised. Go out with men who aren’t your type. Your type might be the very reason you are still on the dating sites.
5. Figure out why you want a relationship and why you want this man. You decide what you want a man for—to impress your girlfriends with his looks, or to experience real romance and feel cherished as you blossom into your full feminine glory under the gaze of an attentive man who is present for you. A man who is willing and able to make you happy. A man who loves you and values you for who you are.
Of course, creating this kind of connection requires some skills. You must reveal to him who you are in a way that is engaging and authentic. Authenticity is attractive.
6. Help him to relax and he will adore you for it. Notice and appreciate his efforts. Understand that this is not easy for him. Trust that he means well. Believe that he wants to make you happy. Show him how you like to be romanced. Appreciate what he provides for you.
7. Don’t judge him, inspire him. Inspire him to be his best Self and he will want to spend the rest of his life loving you.
8. Give him a chance. Give yourself a chance. Give love a chance. Because the reality is that if you spend enough time with him and you get to really know him, you will love him.
So choose a man who is willing to make you happy. Choose a man who is willing to grow with you. Choose a man who is willing to give to you—his attention, his presence, his affection, his understanding, his time, his words, his heart. Choose a man who will love and appreciate you as you are, for who you are.
This requires transparency and taking a risk or two. So call me if you want to learn the most effective ways to do this.
9. Make it a real life experience rather than a “safe” head trip. Take it out of the dating site as soon as possible and agree to meet him before you get too deep into correspondence that may easily lead to fantasies.
10. Listen to learn instead of listen to answer. Even if you don’t feel attracted to him, you can learn something from him. You can learn what it is that you don’t like. You can learn what triggers you. You can learn what you want in a relationship, and what you don’t want.
11. Show your appreciation. Thank him. Thank him for liking you in the first place. Thank him for taking the chance to meet with you. It is a big deal for him! Thank him for the time he spent with you, for the lessons, for the generosity of teaching you about you.
12. Make new choices. Choose to be open. Choose to be kind. Choose to be the woman in the relationship. Choose to allow him to be the man. Choose to look for what’s good about him, and not—what’s not enough for you. Choose kindness over perfection. Choose how you want to feel rather than how you look with him next to you.
13. Let go of the desire to control. Remain in the feminine and let him be the man. Let him approach you, make suggestions, plan your dates, and offer to nurture you. When you let him choose the places and dates, you will learn about him and who he is. Then you can decide if he is for you or not.
14. Find out what he really wants. You may think it’s sex. And that’s hopefully there. But behind his desire for sex, there is a deeper need—the need for human connection. The need to feel that he matters. The need to know that he is safe with you, that you have his back. And perhaps the even bigger need to access divine realms through you, with you. Because, you my dear, are the holly gateway to the Divine, and a man can only access it through you.
Some of the most common beliefs my women clients share tend to create unconscious barriers to attracting a great man and experiencing true love. My heart aches for all the men and women longing for love, for touch, for connection, for romance and deep intimacy, but get lost at sea—the sea of endless dating and chasing the illusion of perfection.
Think about how strong our need for love and connection is if we all jump into the infested waters of dating despite our fears of getting hurt.
Perfection is found when we say: “This is enough. I will give this person a chance. I will look at what’s right with this person, not what’s wrong.” Because when we share our life, and our true Self with another, we feel truly happy, more fulfilled and more alive.