Reader Question: I feel like I have failed miserably. I’ve never had a soulmate relationship despite being older and previously married. In fact, I have a terrible time meeting women. I feel worthless and hopeless about my prospects of meeting someone these days. I’m always the nice guy that seems to finish last. How can I turn my luck around?
I have great news for you! Nice guys don’t always finish last. We just need to help you start fishing in a better pond.
Let’s Start with Your List
You do have a list, right? The purpose of making a list is not to create a rigid model, but to help you get to know yourself and what you truly want better. It isn’t enough to say you want someone attractive or intelligent or kind. That’s way too vague and will only get vague results at best. You need to understand what each of those things means to you. What do these traits look like in daily action? How do they behave? What do they believe? Where do they hang out? The more clear you are, the easier it will become to meet women who match your desires.
Follow Your Bliss(es)
But what if your ideals are vague at this stage? Does that mean you’re stuck? Not at all! You can get started right now by following your own interests more actively. Notice that says “interests,” plural.
Let’s face it – if your main pastime is hanging out in a sports bar with the guys, the dating pool you meet might be pretty small and might not address any of your other preferences. Or maybe you are a homebody who comes home every night and crashes. It isn’t very likely your soulmate will just happen to ring the doorbell one evening.
Expand your own life. What else interests you? Volunteer. Participate. Change your routine. This is where MeetUp can be your new best friend. There is a group for almost anything or you can always start your own. You aren’t the Lone Ranger. If you are interested, others are as well. Get out and indulge those interests!
I can see some of you rolling your eyes right now. “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard that before. Yeah, right.” You’ve heard it before because it works. It’s simple, straightforward, and it works.
Adopt this philosophy: If I do the things I like, I will meet other people who like these same things. And even if I don’t immediately meet someone to date, I’ll be having fun and making new friends who might introduce me to someone.
How Do You Present Yourself?
How women present themselves is a frequent topic, but men need to consider this as well. You do sound like a nice guy, but consider this: There’s a huge difference between presenting yourself as the nice guy who is everybody’s buddy vs. the nice guy who is open and available which is also a far cry from the nice guy who is needy or down in the dumps.
Consider chatting with a couple of women friends candidly. Make sure you choose women who truly value you and have your best interest at heart. Ask them how you appear to other women. Invite suggestions. Be prepared to receive whatever they say as merely information, not criticism.
Then give their comments some thought. How would you feel about yourself if you adopted their suggestions? You might conclude you would feel better even if changing sounds a bit daunting. You might realize that the changes they suggest would not feel genuine for you. Regardless, the information will help you have a better idea of how you come across and how that matches (or doesn’t match) your view of yourself and your desires in a mate.
Sometimes, Even When You Think You’re Clear...
So let’s say you make your list and you listen to these friends and you begin making changes. You are almost guaranteed to be attracting new women into your life. But what if you still aren’t finding someone you are interested in dating long-term who is also interested in dating you? There’s a name for this: The “Good on Paper” Syndrome.
Thankfully, it isn’t fatal. It just means you are almost on the right track.
Remember the part about your list not being a rigid model? The thing is we can meet people who check off every point on our list and still not feel an emotional connection with them. Or we pass over people who don’t check every box and miss out on someone with whom we could really connect. The list can be extremely helpful as you get to know yourself and your ideal mate IF you take the time to truly understand what it is telling you. Consider these two examples:
• The man who has listed out everything he wants in a woman, but has walked away from dating women his friends didn’t think were attractive. What he really wanted was a woman everyone around him thought was attractive who also had the other traits he liked.
• The woman who wanted to date a financially responsible man, but walked away from dating a man who didn’t make as much money as she thought was acceptable, even though he was very good at managing what he made and lived well. What she really wanted was a wealthy man.
Making the list is Step 1. Understanding what it is saying to you is the equally important Step 2.
The Women You Attract, or Are Attracted to, Are Not Attracted to You
We would naturally like to think that the kind of people we are attracted to would be attracted to us in return, but you already know that isn’t always the case. You have to get inside the head and heart of the kind of woman you want to attract and get to know what she is looking for in her own mate. And start matching that in yourself.
This is NOT about being fake or trying to become someone you are not. This is about getting to know yourself and your desired mate so intimately that you are able to become your own best self and help bring out her best self. You should never have to change the essence of who you are in order to be with someone, but you should always be willing to continue becoming your own personal best.
Let’s say you are attracted to strong independent women. And let’s remember that every personality “type” comes in a variety of flavors. Some strong independent women like strong independent men. Others like men who are very supportive and nurturing. Which profile is more natural to you? Nurturing that aspect of yourself will eventually attract women who desire that quality.
It’s imperative to know what our ideal mate is seeking so we know how to show them love. Showing love to another is the fastest and most effective way to cultivate more love in our own lives. In love as in all things, The Giver becomes the Receiver. If your current lifestyle is not a match for the person you want to attract, you have two options: you can either modify what you want or modify your lifestyle. The choice is entirely yours, but staying in your old ways will only keep you disconnected from what you claim you want.
When you find yourself either not attracting the kind of women you desire or attracting the “wrong” kind of women, (Remember they aren’t “wrong” people, just possibly the wrong match for you.), you have some homework to do. Take a good look at what you think you want and decide if it’s what you really want or if it was “good on paper.”
You Don’t Find a Soulmate, You Become One
Once you have figured out what kind of person you would really like to be with and what they are likely seeking in their own mate, begin nurturing the qualities in yourself that are a match. Sometimes that also means cultivating new habits, hobbies, and beliefs. Remember, you are drawing out parts of yourself that have been hidden or dormant. You are NOT becoming a fake person.
Shake things up a bit in your life. You aren’t very likely to meet someone new and different who is a better match by continuing to do the same old things in the same old way. Look for new ways to express yourself and your interests. See yourself through the eyes of the woman you would like in your life. Then shift your days to become a better match for what you both want. And transform yourself into a living breathing mating call for your ideal date.
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Anne Wade is Teacher, Writer, Mentor, and Coach for courageous women in midlife and beyond who want to disrupt their own status quo and design life on their own terms, even in turbulent times. She has developed the Becoming Found process of going within to find and address the inner barriers we have all inadvertently built up against love, happiness, health, wealth and any other desires of our hearts. Teaching women to unapologetically shine like a superstar and live their legacy is Anne’s mission.
You can follow her on her Facebook page “Anne Wade – Becoming found” or join her “Becoming Found” Facebook group.