As a coach, I work with more women than men (but that many more). Maybe it’s because women feel more pressure to get married. Maybe it’s because women are more willing to delve into matters of the heart. Or maybe it’s just because I’m a woman myself.
Whatever the reason, I know that men face exactly the same struggles as women in dating and relationships...and exactly the same heartbreak! When a man is tired of the whole scene, done with his own patterns, and frustrated by not finding what he wants, he seeks support, too. Men want a no-nonsense approach. They don't want to play games, and they don’t want to be conquered.
Take Rod, for example. This funny, talkative man found himself single and totally frustrated. He thought he knew what he wanted, but did he? He put it a lot of it into his online dating profile, which started something like this~
“Retired white man, Christian, 60-something, seeks similar woman for dating and relationship. Must live within 30 miles of Phoenix.”
Wait, within 30 miles of Phoenix? Was he saying that he was unwilling to move elsewhere, or that he didn’t want someone to move to be near him? What if someone wonderful--maybe even The One --lived 50 miles away, or in Cleveland or L.A. or Baltimore? What then?
At the same time, Rod joined Meet to Marry absolutely convinced that there was no way he could meet the right woman within 30 miles. Do you see the pRodlem here? He was so stuck, but he just didn’t know why. Also, the women he’d been dating were all so focused on their grown children and grandchildren that he often felt left out, lonely. All of this just added up to frustration, and it just seemed irresolvable to him. He wanted a relationship with someone who cherished him, made him feel special, and wanted to focus on their life together, but he just couldn’t seem to get there.
Then, as if by magic, Rod’s dating and relationship reality changed.
3 things transformed Rod’s dating and relationship reality:
- Go deep. Rod said that he’s not sure how he found Meet to Marry (maybe it was through ChristianMingle.com), but he knew that in this program, he would “go deep into the heart of the matter” to discover what was blocking him from finding the one. Depth matters. In the program, Rod learned, people revealed their true inner selves, what made them complete, and how a partner could complement them. As Rod said, “no phoniness!”
- Know what really matters. Rod learned what’s really important to him, and how to share it in his online dating profile and in person. And, he learned what’s not important to him. What’s really important--a shared religion, a shared vision for the future. What’s not important: that 30-mile-zone. In fact, when Rod found The One, it turned out that she didn’t live within 30 miles of Phoenix at all! But she was willing to move, and is planning that move right now, from Minneapolis to Phoenix
- Be okay with yourself. “My biggest breakthrough was to realize I was basically all right as I am and did not have to radically change to meet someone else's idea of how I should be.” In other words, Rod stopped apologizing and feeling guilty for wanting a relationship that was primarily about two people. He didn’t have to try to fit into someone else’s family life, when it wasn’t his first priority. This is not to say that people shouldn’t welcome and build loving and harmonious relationships with a partner’s children and grandchildren. And some people really are seeking the warmth of an extended family, ready-made with the new partner’s kids and grandkids. But Rod really wanted to find someone who was just right for him, who loves him and cherishes him exactly as he is.
Now, Rod is engaged to Bev. They are contemplating getting married on Veteran's Day, a special day for him. He says that from the first phone call, “the conversation flowed naturally.” Plus, she’s Christian, too. She’s moved to his city, and they are full of fabulous plans for their lives together. Rod says that he is “walking on air.”
What are you struggling with in dating and relationships? Share it in the comments section, below, or on the Meet to Marry™ Facebook page, and I’ll try to address it in an upcoming blog post, or by emailing you personally.