Whenever a new client comes to me, one of the very first things I need to know about her relates to her attitudes.
It’s no secret that our attitudes stem from our beliefs. Since our beliefs create our reality, it’s important for me to get my head around where my new client is coming from.
To do so, I ask her one, simple question:
“Do you like men?”
You might wonder why.
Why on earth would a new client go to all the trouble of seeking a dating coach if she didn’t like men to begin with?
I assure you, it has nothing to do with me doubting her sexual orientation.
I ask this question because, in many cases, a woman who has had a bad experience with a man (or several men), can develop negative associations to men – the very people she’s trying to date.
Though part of her wants to date and have the love life of her dreams, a second part of her has taken so much damage from previous dud guys that, deep down, she’s come to dislike men as people.
Think of the affect this will have on her love life moving forward.
Imagine if you met a man with a general disdain of women? Where you picked up a vibe he thought women, deep down, were just bad people.
You’d hardly be jumping with excitement to date him.
It’s exactly the same for a man.
By the way, I don’t mean this in a “Let’s get together and jokingly complain about our boyfriends’ lack of hygiene” kind of way. I mean it in a “Though I’m still attracted to men, I believe in my core than most men are not good people” kind of way.
It doesn’t take Stephen Hawking to figure out such negative statements about the very people you are trying to date is going to affect your love life adversely.
The unfortunate irony is (and this is important), whatever you believe men to be is what you will attract into your life. Perception is reality. If you perceive all men to be cheating assholes, your view of the world will filter out all the guys who aren’t that, so you can maintain said belief. What does your life then end up full of? You guessed it. Cheating assholes. The cycle continues.
Could you have a subtle (or not so subtle) dislike of men that means you’re attracting all the wrong types?
Here’s 6 ways to help you figure that out.
Fill in the blank. “Men Are ___________”
Don’t think… Just Answer! Do it again. And again. Fill it in 10 times and see what you come up with. Write the first thing that enters your mind.
These are your core beliefs about men. While they are generalizing statements, and intellectually, you know individual men are different, these statements reflect your subconscious beliefs on men overall.
What you’ve written is what you’re most likely to attract to your life.
The good news is, now you know it. The truth will set you free. Having realised any negative generalizations you’re making, you can catch yourself applying these unfairly to new men. Look to start every guy with a blank slate and put your beliefs aside, letting each man prove himself to you.
Do you have men in your family you’re close to?
Are you close with your father? Do you have brothers you love and respect? Many women, due to circumstances outside their control, do not. If this is you, you could be at a higher risk of having negative beliefs or dislikes of men, simply due to a lack of previous positive associations.
Beyond romantic relationships and your family, do you like spending time with men?
Do you spend time with men as part of your everyday life? Would you enjoy an evening spent with a group of mostly men, when there was no romantic interest present? Do you have good male friends you love to be around and who love being around you?
If your social life is made up entirely of women, think about why. Maybe you don’t enjoy men other than where romance is involved.
If this is you, you’ll be experiencing flow-on effects in your life you probably don’t even realise. Not spending time around men means you won’t meet their friends, who could be perfect for you. You won’t look forward to dates, because it will require him to be a romantic interest for you to have a good time. You’ll accept less dates because of this and meet even fewer guys.
Look to get men regularly in and around your life. If the idea of this seems distasteful, it may be time to look at your underlying beliefs as to why.
Fill in the blank. “Dates with men are _____________”
What are the first words you think of when you go to complete this sentence? Even if you like men, if you hate going on dates and think they’re time consuming and pointless, then your dating life with men will reflect this. You’ll accept fewer dates, develop fewer skills and potentially miss out on what could be an incredible guy. I’ve lost count of the number of times a woman has said to me, “I wasn’t sure before I went on the date, but I’m so glad I did. I didn’t think he was my type and now we’re so in love.”
Dating with men should be exciting, an experience you can look forward too. Even if he turns out to be a dud, you’ll have a story you can laugh about later.
Do you have regular activities in your life that involve men?
If you’ve got one or two hobbies where guys play a part, it’s a good sign you enjoy male company and appreciate men in your life. Dancing, mixed sports, various clubs and interest groups involve men who have a common interest to you. These are men you’ll enjoy! If you’re not already part of something like this and are finding new men in your life few and far between, these are excellent ways to enjoy men in fun, new ways, without the pressure of dating.
Do any of your 5 closest friends have negative opinions of men?
We become like the 5 people we spend the most time with. If your friends have negative beliefs about men, they’re likely to have rubbed (or will rub off) on you. Beware of this. Catch your friends promoting negative beliefs about men and ask them to be more positive. If that doesn’t work, explain to them why you’d prefer, in your presence at least, they be positive about this topic and keep that opinion to themselves. Be the optimistic voice of the group, rather than senselessly agreeing with the negativity.
A dislike of men might not seem like a big deal, but it could mean everything if it leads to you missing out on meeting the man you were truly meant for. The fact is, the more time you spend enjoying men, the more likely you are to find a good one.
Remember, awareness is key. If you’ve realized you might have negative beliefs relating to men, you now can catch yourself. The next time you’re invited to an activity involving men, remember your belief, and vow to work against it and start all new guys with a blank slate. In the end, it only takes one, and the more men in your life and the more time you spend with them, the sooner you’re going to meet him.