I hosted an incredibly insightful dinner party last night with the Dating With Dignity support team, most of whom are men. In attendance were Christian Anderson, one of your favorite man panelists, Jason Miller, my web designer who is a self-described “Muni,” (he jokingly says he delivers a scroll on which the disclaimer is written on the first date), Chris, a former hunter who turned legit boyfriend last summer, and Mat Boggs, my business coach and creator of the thought-provoking seminar, “6 1/2 Secrets to Cracking the Man Code.” In addition to general banter surrounding the ins and outs of internet marketing, the conversation turned to dating and relationships.
Once again, I was able to reconfirm the number one thing men are CRAVING for when it comes to relationship — a woman who is confident, secure and feminine. They are, in fact, clear on one thing; a woman who, despite her beauty, good humor, kindness and tight butt, needs excessive reassurance is someone who quickly becomes an albatross. These men, who are all incredibly smart, ambitious, talented and handsome, are searching for a woman who loves herself so deeply that she never depends on validation from her partner to make her feel lovable, worthwhile and attractive.
As it is, in fact, my mission to teach women and men to love themselves so that they can attract someone to love, here are a few “signs” you most likely need to focus your efforts on yourself before you embark on a journey towards loving someone else.
1. You ask questions like, “Does this make me look fat,” “Why did you do (or say) that?,” or “Do you still love me?” The Dating With Dignity men joked that these questions, which are commonly asked by women in relationships, are among the most annoying questions a women can ask. They called them a complete, “turn off,” and lamented over the fact that what is most frustrating is there are no answers to these questions that a woman finds acceptable. Stop asking. If your clothes are too tight, you know it. And, unless the few pounds has turned into twenty, the DWD men agreed that they can’t tell if the cookies you ate last night made you feel bloated. Last, don’t ask a man if he loves you. Ever. Words and actions must match. If your man has told you he loves you but begins to pull away, there is a better way to check in on his feelings towards you. And, asking “why” he did or said something makes him feel defensive and childlike. You are not his mother, you are his lover.
2. You say things like, “Just hold me,” even though your man has been spending time with you being affectionate, cuddling and/or giving you attention. Mat Boggs describes it perfectly in his “Cracking the Man Code” Seminar when he states that men need short, attainable goals to feel successful. Men want to please women, in fact, they need to feel like they are your Knight in Shining Armor to keep on keepin’ on. That said, when he does his best to give you attention, holds on to you while you watch Entourage or Monday Night Football, or reads his book nearby while you give yourself a manicure, let him go away when he needs his space. If you are constantly criticizing him and tell him it’s “not enough” he will want to hide long-term. Instead, settle into the time you are together, be present in the moment, and then encourage him to go play Playstation or watch videos on YouTube when you are done with your nails, the show is finished or it’s halftime.
3. You are jealous and weirded out when you see issues of “HFM,” “Maxim,” or “Playboy” in his bedroom, or see old pictures of him with his girlfriend. The truth is, your man had an entire life before you met him. It included ex-lovers, ex-girlfriends, and an array of females who are still his friends. A woman who is threatened by these relationships, past and present, is at risk of turning-off the man with whom they are in love. Your man left those relationships for a reason, and if he consistently shows he loves you, then you have no reason to fear the past. His friends, male and female, are simply not threats.
4. You relate to songs like, “My Life Would Suck Without You,” “No Air,” and “Lost Without Your Love.” The truth is, that when you love yourself and have created an amazing life that is interdependent with your partner’s life, you don’t think your life would suck without him. While you would be appropriately heart broken to lose an important relationship, you know in your heart that “you will survive,” and that even without him your life is truly awesome. You can, then, in fact, breathe when he is no longer your boyfriend, and you will not be lost without his love. When you have a deep sense of self, confidence, a community of friends, a profession you find fulfilling and self love, your life never sucks. Ever.