Women get a lot of advice. Much of it unsolicited advice. But, in the confusing world of dating, I’m discovering much of that advice has not been helpful for me. In fact, some of it has been more harmful. It inadvertently encouraged wasting my time, exposing me to men who are incapable of loving or who do not share my values, giving too many chances, and adding unnecessary confusion to my life.
Two of my “bad advice” favorites are:
Remain open-hearted always
Having an open heart is wonderful, of course. But, you do not owe that open heart to everybody. And, when you have been hurt, your heart closes as a form of self protection. Why would you want to ignore that? It’s protecting you! And, guess what? It won’t prevent the right person from getting through to you and it does not make you unlovable! It just makes you more discerning about who you open it up to. That has been the most amazing discovery for me.
Men who complain about women who have been hurt who express that they are not going to put up with bullshit anymore are not the type of man I want to date anyway. They tend to be the guys full of the most bullshit.
I dated an incredible man who once told me that it was his job to make me feel safe enough to take my armor off. Trust me ladies, the good ones know. They know what we have had to put up with and understand how it would affect us. They understand that a loving partnership requires trust and that they need to consistently earn it, along with you. It’s a two way street after-all.
On a date with another man, he mentioned something about wanting a woman who is capable of letting the world know she’s with him. A woman capable of saying no to other men. Yes, a woman capable of closing herself off to others. That helps a partner feel safe, obviously. Yet, in the age of social media those lines are getting blurred. I certainly do not want a man who has dated every woman on the apps, flirts with woman all over Facebook or obsessively “likes” every hot girls posts on Instagram. It’s gross and would not feel safe to have a relationship with such a person. A man with integrity is more discerning than that. And, women should be to!
By closing myself off more, the best men naturally rise to the top. No more riff-raff floating around in my orbit. It’s focused and more obvious this way. Less chance of me falling for someone who does not share my values this way.
Perhaps better advice would be to remain open-minded while protecting your sweet heart.
Be appealing to everyone.
This is right up there with encouraging a woman to smile more. Sigh. We are not here for everyone’s pleasure. We do not need to be pleasing and appealing to everyone.
I had the most luck, when I was on the dating apps, when I got very specific about exactly what I was looking for and where my boundaries stood. When I was unafraid of turning the majority of people off. Yes, get comfortable with turning people OFF because if you are looking for a real relationship, you do not want to waste your precious time weeding through absolutely everybody to find what you are really wanting. You want those guys to skip right over your profile so you can more clearly see the men you are better aligned with.
I know, I know. This goes against everything we were taught growing up. We are people pleasers. But, that isn’t serving us. Time to tighten it all up, get very specific, and own our power. With love, and for love. Tough love at times, even. Otherwise, we’ll just keep spinning our wheels forever, giving the best of us to those who don’t deserve it. Why waste our energy on that?
You do not owe anyone your sweetness either. Be decent. Be classy. But, don’t encourage behavior we would all collectively like to see stop. It ends up hurting other women. And, is not helpful to the men either. Don’t keep them hanging on to nothing more than a fantasy. What an awful waste for them.
We do not need every man to want us. That is an addiction to attention that will not land you your dream guy. Just be you! You don’t have to conform to absolutely everyone’s ideals. What a relief!
Get specific. Narrow down what’s presenting itself to you. Make it easier for your great match to reach you, while you’re not distracted by everyone else.