This past Tuesday, I attended a lecture sponsored by a large NYC organization. The title of the seminar was: Secrets for Attracting the Love You Want if You’re Over 40. Curious to hear what Big Apple singles had to say about their lives and interested in getting some pointers on finding love, I decided to attend. However, instead of leaving with an arsenal of good tips to share with you, I left upset and frustrated by what I saw and heard.
For starters, I showed up and saw only women in the audience. Interesting, I thought to myself. Then, as I begin listening to the presenters and their cliché suggestions, my blood began to boil. Not only was I upset at the suggestions, but I was actually getting angry as I listened to beautiful, intelligent women questioning their attractiveness and substance by asking the most ridiculous questions about how to attract and keep a man.
One woman asked – “If I’m interested only in marriage and children, is it ok for me to ask a man on the first date if he’s serious about me and wants the same thing?” And one of the so-called gurus answered her by saying , “There’s no need to ask exactly that. Instead, why don’t you ask about his five-year plan and if he sees you being part of it.”
What? Have we gone mad? Five-year plans with marriage and children, all on a first date? Did we forget that life doesn’t let us see into the future? What about simply enjoying one another before making a list of demands? Ladies, it’s time to let go of “should” and “should nots” and begin relearning and experiencing things as though for the first time.
Think about men for a moment. They often see what they want and go after it. They pursue the immediate experience rather than foreseeing future events that might never be. They feel and then they act. That’s it. Women, on the other hand, in their attempt to conform to centuries-old social protocols and expectations, kill the joy of the dating process. As a result, many women over forty are failing to attract the very connections they seek.
If I had been the speaker at Tuesday’s conference, I would have said the following:
1. Remember that life is a continuous chain of cycles. So if love is not knocking on your door right now, there’s probably a good reason for it. Maybe this is the time to reevaluate and realign other areas of your life so that when love does come along you will be ready to embrace it with an open and strong, heart.
2. Everyone’s path does not end in marriage. So when you meet a man, think of the meeting as an experience, as a hopefully beautiful journey of exploration that may or may not end in forever. I read a wonderful quote once that said that some people enter our lives for a reason, others for a season, and the rest for a lifetime. The point is to be open to all three because all three can transform you in ways that support your personal growth and evolution. So don’t go trying to turn a seasonal guy into a forever guy – you’ll be wasting your time.
3. Dare to act according to your own visions and not those of your friends and family. What I mean is, have the courage to be yourself even if that means going against the tide. If you want to call a guy first, call. If you want to ask a guy out, do. If we act according to our inner-yearnings, it feels right, even if the outcome is not to your liking.
4. Stop looking for the definite. The “truth” is forever evolving and differs from one person to the next. So stop asking guys if they want marriage and children and what their five-year plan is. It’s more than likely that, even if he has one, it will change. Or maybe, yours will. Instead, try to find the kind of man you want to be around, the one who makes you a bit nervous and excited at the same time. The one who asks if you’re cold and gives you a sweater, who calls to ask if you got home ok, or the one who’s interested in your goals, visions, and dreams. Stop asking the typical interview questions. Dating isn’t a business. Focus on your intuition, what you’re actually feeling and hearing, what you’re touching and seeing. Your senses will not steer you wrong. On the contrary, they will bring you closer to what you want – someone to love who will love you back.
5. Most importantly, play at life, celebrate it, romance it. Try to create a life that comes naturally to you. And once you begin showing up in social and professional circles that nourish your soul, it is more than likely you’ll find a man who will be the life companion you are looking for.
If you’re forty and single, don’t sweat it. Because as they say, the best things in life come to those who wait. So be patient, and in the meantime – PARTYYYY!!!