I have a lot of conversations with women who inquire about which coaching option is the right fit.
Before anyone invests a lot of money in herself, it’s important that we get on the same page. In that half-hour, I can tell if she’s coach-able and serious, and she can tell if she’s going to respond to my no-nonsense approach to understanding men.
Every once in awhile, our free consultations will take a turn to the unexpected, and I get confronted with a question that I’ve never heard before.
In this instance, a successful, inquisitive, 40-something woman said that she’d read about all of my success stories — and even read my quote about the “crossroads”.
What she wanted to know was this:
“Among your success stories, Evan, what percentage of women changed who they were, and what percentage of women changed their choice of men?”
Out of everyone I’ve ever coached — and we’re talking over 1000 women since 2004 — I don’t recall a single instance where the woman fundamentally changed herself to find love.
I took a second to contemplate before replying.
I racked my brain, then laughed out loud at my own unexpected answer.
Out of everyone I’ve ever coached — and we’re talking over 1000 women since 2004 — I don’t recall a single instance where the woman fundamentally changed herself to find love. If she was driven, she remained driven. If she was opinionated, she remained opinionated. If she was busy, she remained busy.
In the hundreds of success stories that I’ve had, every single one started with my client doing two things:
1) Making a greater effort to find love
2) Opening up to, and falling for, a different type of man
That was a fascinating revelation to me and it should be to you, as well.
But what if I told you that I was drawn towards cocaine and prostitutes? (Yes, I am secretly Charlie Sheen.)
Seriously — what if I said that those 2 things produced the greatest highs in my life and I didn’t want to give them up?
You’d probably tell me that while you wish me well, it’s hard to create a stable relationship if I’m snorting blow off a 20-year-old in a Vegas hotel room. It may be fun, but hookers and coke are probably not building blocks for a peaceful life.
Hate to say it but: the men you’re most attracted to are your hookers and coke. And the only way to find a relationship that sticks is to quit them cold turkey.
This does NOT mean giving up on attraction, intelligence, looks or money!
All traits are on a sliding scale from 1-10; it’s not simply an either/or. Unless you make it that way. Consider this email I got from my former client last week:
I read your newsletter today and I want to tell you why your advice is so incredibly frustrating to me, although it seems like it should be simple. Only stay with men that treat you well, like a boyfriend. Don’t stay with men who treat you with indifference. You make it all seem so easy. Well, it’s anything but.
First, I have met only a few men that acted towards me like your mother’s boyfriend, and guess what? Neither of them were appealing enough to me to inspire me to want them as my boyfriend, as a matter of fact, being around them was incredibly depressing, since I felt so sad that I was finally getting some quality attention from a man, but I was so not interested, the attention felt annoying rather than good. And yes, I gave them a good chance and got to know them; I really tried. I was able to easily break things off with them with no regrets, and great relief!
I’ve had enough life experience to know that consistency and kindness pay far greater dividends over the course of a lifetime than, say, butterflies and weak knees.
However, your initial story of the woman who falls for a guy right away, only to be treated like an option on the back burner is ALL too familiar to me. This must be a very common scenario among your woman clients, since you describe it perfectly. Some guy who doesn’t call, prefers to text, sees you once in a while when it’s convenient for him, who at the same time is very intoxicating to be around, handsome, interesting, smart, funny, successful. The same guy who also drives us crazy with his murky intentions and inconsistent behavior. But is the alternative to this settling for some poor guy who doesn’t do much for me?
If these are the only 2 choices (and for me, it’s been one or the other), neither one is satisfying and so here I am, still alone. I dated well over 100 men during the past few years and this has been my experience. Are the women who find these great boyfriends just settling for the first guy who pays attention to them properly? In which case, I could be in a relationship, too, but I wouldn’t be happy! I admit that I’ve given up dating in 2011, since it’s just way too frustrating! —Lani
Note that Lani said, “If these are the only 2 choices…” – as if that was actually true.
My wife wasn’t a “10” in terms of attraction when we met.
She’s a “10” in terms of being a cool, patient, funny, easygoing, understanding, big-hearted person.
And if I broke up with her to search for that mythical feeling of blind passion, I’d have made a huge mistake.
I’d had enough life experience to know that consistency and kindness pay far greater dividends over the course of a lifetime than, say, butterflies and weak knees.
By the same token, it’s not like my wife is unattractive and uneducated. Far from it. She has a great body and amazing smile, knows obscure facts that perpetually surprise me, makes me laugh, and gets every pop culture reference that I make. So it’s not like I’m slumming it here.
However, I DID compromise.
I stopped chasing the 29-year-old, slim, East Coast Jewish lawyer/writer types who inspired the most attraction in me. Why?
Because it NEVER WORKED.
Because in making that tradeoff, I found the greatest happiness ever.
Because all the people I know who are still trying to date a better version of themselves are still single and frustrated!
Listen, we don’t live in a black and white world. Not at all.
It’s not either inspiration/heartbreak or boredom/depression.
Life takes place in the grey areas, and I assure you that I’ve never said to go out with some guy who you can’t stand or can’t picture kissing.
So stop dating jerks. Stop dating men who depress you. And keep your head up for something in between those two extremes.
Because, from my experience, that’s where love lies — but only if you persevere.