When I first started dating again after my divorce I was so confused. I was totally clueless and completely pathetic. I was literally repelling good men away and I didn’t even know it.
Newly divorced with two young children, I was at the lowest point in my life. I completely lost my sense of self, and my self-esteem was shot. I was so desperate for male attention, I was almost willing to date anyone. My standards definitely were low for a while.
I didn’t know my value, and I didn’t know how to date. I was even chasing men who were no good for me.
After enough suffering, I figured I better makes some changes. If I was ever going to meet someone special, I had better get my shit together. I threw myself into research. I read evolutionary psychology books, articles on dating and relationships, and I started dating like crazy.
I hired a professional matchmaking agency, and I practiced dating. They lined them up, and I showed up!
The first few dates were painful to say the least. I did meet someone through the agency and we dated for a while. He was horrible for me, to say the least. Clearly, I was still struggling with my self-esteem. Once that relationship ended, I had the agency start scheduling dates for me again.
I worked to get my head back into a good place. I also realized after many failed attempts, I had no clue when it came to dating. I was getting nowhere and had no real prospects. I kept finding myself dating men who were selfish, and who had the emotional maturity of a gnat.
My dating life was going nowhere fast. If I did meet someone, I would immediately throw all of my effort into that person.
I thought that if a man liked me, I was supposed to make sure he knows that I like him too. This meant, I should go out of my way to do nice things for him, so he sees that I like him. Cook him dinner, offer solutions to his problems, and make sure I looked “perfect” for every date.
I would text him if it had been a while since I last heard from him, just to say “hi” and keep the momentum going. I was basically attempting to drive the relationship forward. I was doing all the work.
Wow, was I totally clueless. I was putting all of this effort into the “relationship” before it even really was one.
I also dated just one man at a time. I would date one guy, put all my focus on him, and then would be devastated when it didn’t work out. I constantly found myself back to the drawing board without a romantic prospect in sight. Sound familiar?
I had no idea I was doing it completely backwards.
Ladies, you really don’t need to try so hard. In fact, my advice is to do less.
However, knowing what I know now, if I could give three pieces of advice for ladies who are dating it would be…
- Date at least three men at once. More if you have time!
- Only be exclusive when you have plans for marriage.
- Stop working to get a guy to like you. Let him do the work.
Do this, and you will see a positive shift in your dating life, and your self-esteem will sky rocket. Seriously, just try it. Give it a shot. I did, and WOW.
Date at Least Three Men at Once
I’m not saying you should sleep with three men at a time, just to be clear. You should date at least three men at once, however. There’s nothing wrong with dating more than one person at a time, as long as you’re honest about it.
I talked to my 84-year-old grandmother about it. She actually said to me.
Niki, I don’t know why women stopped dating more than one man at a time? In my day, we dated multiple men at a time until there was a proposal. That’s how it worked.
Well, okay then grandma. It’s settled. I’m going old school.
I was so afraid to do this. I thought it would look like I’m a “player” or selfish. I thought men wouldn’t go for it, and they would no longer be interested in dating me.
Boy was I wrong! Do you want to know what happened?
The exact opposite.
I had men working really hard to go out with me. They were calling me, texting me, and sending me flowers even. (I love flowers!). They made sure they scheduled a date for the weekend ahead of time. I was dating more than one person, so if they waited too long to ask me out, I was already busy.
They knew I was seeing other people. I was very up-front about it. I wasn’t rude about it, I was just very matter of fact.
I wasn’t playing games, I was simply meeting a lot of people in hopes of meeting someone that was right for me. I already had one failed marriage. I was not looking to do that again.
Only be exclusive when you have plans for marriage.
One of the men I was seeing wanted to be exclusive after dating only a couple of months. I told him no. I told him we were still too new, and we needed to get to know each other better. I also told him that I would not be exclusive with anyone unless we planned to be married.
He didn’t like it. He definitely did not like it, but he didn’t run…
In fact, it led to a very long conversation, which ultimately led to the creation of my dating mantra. After talking about it, the guy understood. He didn’t like it, but he understood. I said this more than once, over the three years I was dating before I met my husband.
My Dating Mantra…
I believe there is no point in being exclusive with someone, unless you plan to get married. I am looking for a life partner, not a boyfriend. I’m interested in finding the real deal, and nothing less. I don’t want to be in a relationship for the sake of being in one. I’m looking for the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.
I have a great life and I’m okay being on my own. I have a house, my children, a career, my family and friends. I’m happy and I’m looking for someone to add to my happiness. I’m not looking for someone to fill a void. I’m happy on my own and if someone comes along and adds to my happiness then great!
(You have to really mean it by the way, if you say this. You can’t fake it).
You also, have to understand that this means, he too can see other people. You have to be willing to tolerate that. The good news is, if he really likes you, he will be putting all of his effort into seeing you and no one else. Also, when he goes out with other women, it will only validate to him more, why he wants to spend his time with you. The other women will be boring and insufficient. (if you really are the one for him).
After I started sticking to my dating mantra, it was the oddest thing. Men did not like it at first, but then their primal male instincts kicked in and they had to pursue me. At one point, I had three guys calling me trying to schedule dates. It was a complete shift from where I was before.
I was like, WTF? Before, I couldn’t even get a call back after one date! Why haven’t I always done this? What a change.
What’s even crazier is I was carrying around a little bit of extra weight. I wasn’t even at my best physically. Funny, it didn’t matter. They saw me as a woman with options, not just looking to spend my time with any old “Joe,” and it instantly made me more attractive in their minds.
They actually had to plan, and therefore, invest in spending time with me. This instantly gave me value in their minds.
(By the way. It was throughout this process I learned you don’t have to be the prettiest, skinniest, or the cross fit queen. Good men, really just want a woman who is perfect for them. They can’t be repulsed by you, of course, but you don’t have to “look” perfect. Anyway, I digress)
This didn’t work with all of the men. Some of them did go away. It didn’t feel great, but there were other men pursuing me at the same time so it took the sting away. I didn’t have time to fixate on why one guy didn’t like me. Plus, they just did me a favor, and didn’t waste my time. If they didn’t stick around, then most likely, they weren’t feeling it anyway.
We simply weren’t a good match. Next!
Not sold on this? Still only want to date one person at a time. Here’s some food for thought…
I was dating someone else when I met my husband! He is the very same guy that wanted to be exclusive. Can you imagine if I would have said “yes” to being exclusive with this guy? I may never have gone out with the love of my life!
Something to think about…
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should play games with anyone you’re dating. The guy I was going out with was a really great catch, and I always appreciated the nice things that he did for me. I was very gracious about what he did for me, but I didn’t owe him anything. He didn’t owe my anything either. We were simply getting to know each other better to see if we had a connection.
We didn’t. It was not what I was looking for anyway. Most of the time you don’t. Most of the men you meet are not “the one.” Think about it from a mathematical stand point. You don’t go around saying, I can’t wait to meet one of my thirty potential soul mates!
You say I can’t wait to meet “The One.” I’m not that great at math, but I’m pretty sure if you believe there is one person for you, you’re probably going to have to go through a bunch to find that person. Statistically speaking anyway. If anything, its math people!
After I met my husband, it became clearer to me, that this other guy, didn’t provide what I needed on a deeper level. He was nice enough, and there wasn’t anything wrong with him. We just didn’t have the deep connection that I began to feel with my “new guy.”
Stop Doing the Work. Let him do the work.
My husband pursued the crap out of me! We met through work and were having a lot of really great conversations about life and love. We would start talking about work and then somehow we always ended up talking about dating and our kids. We were both single parents, so we had a lot to talk about.
We spent a lot of time simply getting to know each other.
He knew how I felt about dating, and that I would not be exclusive with anyone, unless we planned to be married. He knew I was seeing other people. We went out on our first date and had so much fun! We went out on more, and let me tell you, I have never been so pursued by a man in my life! He planned every date, picked me up, and wouldn’t even let me look at the tab, so much as pay for it.
My husband was relentless and he made me feel amazing. He made me feel desired. He knew I was still seeing other people, and he was going to win. Seeing other men meant I had other options, and he had to be the best one. He knew he had to show me why I should pick him.
Like I had a choice in the matter? I was totally crazy about him! We eventually talked about marriage and then I said, “Peace Out” to the other guys. (Nicely, of course).
I’m not saying I’m some prize by the way. All I did was let him do the work.
Here is what I did NOT do…
I didn’t try and text and call him all the time. I let him come to me. I responded to his texts and phone calls with enthusiasm of course, because I loved hearing from him, but I didn’t initiate anything. I appreciated everything so much that he did, by the way. He made me feel valued and that I was worth pursuing. I knew my value, and he did too. I let him show me that he knew my worth.
I didn’t worry when I didn’t hear from him for a while…well not too much, lol. I waited for him to come to me. I waited for him to initiate contact. Ladies, if they like you and they don’t hear from you for a while, they will eventually check in. Create some mystery around yourself. Let him wonder what you are up to. It may take a little while, but be patient.
Not sure what this looks and feels like?
Basically, if you’re making an effort to see a guy, or talk to him, and he is not initiating it, STOP. You are pursuing him. It doesn’t work that way. Men pursue. (Read Never Chase a Man Again for more on this and other dating strategies).
Okay Niki, how will I ever find someone if I don’t take action?
If you’re afraid you will never hear back from a guy again, you may be right. That’s okay and that’s why you date more than one person at a time. Don’t have your eggs all in one basket, and keep your options open for that special someone. You aren’t just waiting for anyone, you are waiting for The One. Trust me, if you let them do the work, the ONE will make himself loud and clear!
You might say…” but I really like him a lot. I can’t risk not doing anything and him going away.”
Listen to me, for real. If you really like this guy, then you better not chase him. If you chase a man, he will run. The end. If you chase him, he will think you are desperate and don’t have other options. If he chases you; however, he sees you as a woman who has options, and who values herself. You will immediately seem more attractive than the other women.
Ladies a man does not want to be chased. He wants to chase you! When he catches you, he feels that primal urge of satisfaction. He beat those other men. Men like to beat other men. They like to be the Alpha Male and if you’re dating more than one man, he will feel like the champion when he wins your heart. I know that sounds cheesy, but that’s just how men are built. I personally think men are more romantic than women…
Think of it this way. Men like sports, right? They like competition. They like seeing the blood, sweat and tears. Let this work for you. You’re not doing anything wrong by letting them pursue you, it’s in their nature. Let me end this by saying I have the best husband in the entire world. He is authentic, chivalrous, strong, and kind, but make no mistake, he does not put up with any bullshit.
I say this because while he pursued me, I did not play games. I was authentic and honest. I did however, make my boundaries clear, which just made him want me more lol. He did the work and boy am I glad he did!
I simply valued myself and made sure the man I chose, knew that I was a person to be valued. Remember, you teach people how to treat you. Do you know who determines your value?
You better believe I would do anything for him. He treats me better than I ever hoped for and because I made him? No, I simply let him do the work and I show my appreciation.
It’s seriously not as complicated as we make it out to be.
Ladies, let him do the work. Let him pursue you. You are worth it!
Subscribe to my newsletter for updates and more posts like this.
Need help on how to get your dating roster full? Read here.
Not sure When You Should Have Sex With Him? You want to read this.