Monday, November 28, 2011

Old Habits Die Hard...

I am sure that I am just as guilty of this as anyone else.

We get into our familiar habits and we do the same things over and over again because that's what we know.  I get it.  But if you want different results, should we conclude that we should probably step outside the proverbial box and try something new?

Case in point... my newly divorced friend who we'll call Stella, says she's ready to get back in the dating game.  At some point, she sees herself taking the plunge again, (but this time with the right person) but for right no, she just wants to put herself out there and just have fun. She been pretty great at the long term relationships, but she's never really dated for any extended period of time. With her new found freedom..."Stella just wants to get her grove back!" Funny thing about Stella.  She says she wants one thing, but her actions indicate something completely different.

For example, in an effort to get things flowing, she signs up for an internet dating website, and sees a few interesting men that provoke conversation. One conversation leads to another with several of these men...but somehow Stella sets her sights on the one guy she really likes, and goes out with him, and him alone.  After about a month of dating and sex, because she's decided that she really likes him...Mr. Man announces that he is not ready for a serious relationship, and cuts Stella off without warning. Now Stella is left holding the bag, and is wondering what happened.

So, exactly where did Stella go wrong?!?!? Well lets first start with her objective... didn't Stella say that she just wanted to get out and have fun?!?!?  Why would someone who just wants to have fun, set their sights on only one man, when she had the attention of several?!?!?  She could have had several dates with several men...but instead she chose only one. The one who she best felt fit inside her proverbial box.

Secondly, setting her sights on the Mr. Man and focusing her time and energy in one direction, made him feel pressured.  Stella became clingy and wanted to spend all of her free time with him and him alone. Instead, she should have spread herself amongst the men who garnered her attention, including Mr. Man, and just had fun.  Stella could have had coffee with guy #1 on Monday, wine with guy #2 on  Wednesday, and lunch with Mr. Man on Friday.  It shouldn't matter that he's not six feet tall, and doesn't have a six pack.  Go out with him anyway.  Your not trying to marry him...your just trying to meet new friends, go out and have fun.  The guy that doesn't meet your physical requirements just might bring something else to the table that you had not considered.  And even if he turns out to be the biggest jerk in the world... what have you really lost?!?! It was just coffee!!!

So if you can do just one thing for yourself to change your dating life... try stepping outside your box, and spread your time with more than one person at a time.  You just might be glad you did!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What If...???

      Recently, ABC's Nightline profiled four beautiful, professional, single women about why they believed they were single.  While they were able to point to a number of valid aspects, the more palpable issue is that there are simply more single women, then there are available men. 

It is estimated, that of the 95.7 million single Americans, over 65% of them are now women.  Now if we subtract the men who are incarcerated, gay, or otherwise not available, there are still going to be a number of women who will remain single, no matter how hard they fight it.

A recent New York Times article quoted that a staggering 51% of American women now live with out a spouse.   Professor Stephanie Coontz from the Council on Contemporary Families, (a nonprofit research group) says, “ This is yet another of the inexorable signs that there is no going back to a world where we can assume that marriage is the main institution that organizes peoples lives.  Most women will marry, or have married, but on average, Americans no spend half of their adult lives outside marriage."

At one end of the age spectrum, women are marrying later, delaying the choice for family, while dedicating time to their careers.  At the other end, women are living longer as widows, and after divorce are more likely than men to delay remarriage, and in most cases delighting in their newfound freedom.  

Such is the case with our four professional singles.  Faith may have it that these women may never be married. Not even they know what their reality holds.  The vital question needed to ask is… 

“What if…???”

What if… they never make it down that isle?

What if… their biological clock ticks away? 

Then the only question remaining is ... Then what???

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mr. Right vs. A Few Mr. Right Nows...

I get it.

The one thing that everyone desires... is to be loved.  I'm there too.  So are millions of others.

What I don't get is why women focus so narrowly on finding Mr. Right, while men on the other hand, cast a large net.

Now, I am by no way saying that the man's way is the right way. But you have to admit that there is a lot to be said about the way men seem to narrow their playing field... and appear to have so much fun doing it. It also seems to me, generally speaking of course, men appear to be chosen as "Mr. Right," and buckle to the pressure before settling down to get married.  Generally speaking, of course.

Women on the other hand, appear to fall for what I call, "The Cinderella Fallocies."  This is where we think we find our "Prince Charming" and date him exclusively until we think he's ready to pop the question and live "happily ever after."  Meanwhile, the truth is that "Prince Charming" really is very charming, and is probably dating two, three, or more woman at a time.  Generally speaking, of course.

And so it seems reasonable for me to ask the question... "Why aren't more women approaching love and dating in the same fashion?"  "What's so wrong with casting that wide net, just to see how many you catch?" "Instead of Mr. Right... how about a few Mr. Right Nows?"

I know I am not alone.  More and more women are coming around to seeing the advantages of dating more that one man at a time.  I like to refer to them as-

 "DWELL-ers"... D ivas W ith E xciting L ove L ives!"

Last week, I watched "The Million Dollar Matchmaker" and Nate Berkus  guide a narrowly focused  40-something woman through her dating process, on the Oprah show.  I stress narrowly focused, because this woman had her heart set on one thing... marriage.  She was so disappointed in herself for being at 40-something and unmarried, that it blocked the potential for anything else to enter her space.  This decently attractive woman honestly believed that there was something wrong with her.

And while I gave props to Nate and the matchmaker for addressing the obvious desperation that emanated from her being, and the unrealistic expectations she set for her Prince Charming, I was a bit disappointed that no on suggested to her that she drop the narrow focus on "Mr. Right" and open herself up for a few "Mr. Right Nows!" No one planted the seed that dating should be fun... and she should enjoy it.  Stop taking it so seriously and approach it in a more light-hearted fashion. No told her to stop beating herself up... no one told her that single is not a curse!

It's freedom at it's best and I love being single!!!