Why You Should Open Up To Men You’ve Never Considered Before

couple smiling for a photo

I’m capping off an AMAZING day with my four Monday afternoon clients. I’m so inspired by their willingness to look within for answers, instead of taking the easy route of blame. One of them literally sounds like a completely different person than she was when we first started coaching back in February. But that’s another story for another day.

Today, I want to share with you an exciting triumph from New York. Rachel is in her early 30’s, comes from an upper-middle-class Jewish family, and has spent her life being the “friend” to most of the men she meets. After her Mom called me to engage my coaching services (I’m a wonderful gift, or so I’ve been told), Rachel and I set out to change all of her dating patterns that she’s built up her whole life.

She gave him the chance to show her a good time – and he did. Over and over and over again.

We did the usual online dating stuff: the new profile, the new photo, the new email technique. That’s what gets my clients rolling first. After all, there’s no dating coaching without actual DATES. So now that Rachel’s getting attention online, we get into the juicy stuff: how to flirt, how to be a great first date, how to let go of negativity, how to understand the male agenda, how to open up to different guys, how to deal with sex, how to judge men for their actions instead of their potential. You know, all the concepts you read about here.

Well, last week, Rachel tells me that she’s got a boyfriend. He’s taken down his Match profile, she’s doing the same, and, thanks to my coaching, she hadn’t yet slept with him until it was official.

But what makes this story extra special for me is that Rachel opened up to a guy who was COMPLETELY different than her. I mean – different age, different race, different career background – EVERYTHING. How did this happen? What distinguished this boyfriend from the pack?

She gave him the chance to show her a good time – and he did. Over and over and over again. She couldn’t believe it while it was happening, because he was not what she was looking for. But he is what she found. Here’s what Rachel had to say about her experience of working with me the past few months:

“I was more open to men I wouldn’t have given a chance to previously. At first I started responding to men I wouldn’t have before because I was trying to follow your advice and practice your writing strategies. It worked and I liked this guy. As you say, he was not the package I pictured. You also told me that it was easy come, easy go. So I started taking the date for what it was: a date. I stopped applying any pressure to it. I also went with the flow. The first date I wanted to have one drink and go home, but I was having fun and I had a second drink. It was really comfortable. I stopped worrying about the next day, didn’t check my watch and let myself have a good time.”

What Rachel doesn’t share was that she was in a crappy mood on the day of her first date. That’s right. She wasn’t that attracted to his profile, she wasn’t up for going out, she didn’t even want to be there. But Rachel heard my annoying voice in her head and did the most novel thing: she opened up and gave a guy a chance to shine. And shine, he did.

Now she’s got a boyfriend, using the same way I got a wife – by breaking her self-imposed rules about how it’s supposed to look and appreciating someone for his kindness, humor, and positive energy.

Do you know any couples who have found happiness in unexpected packages? And would you rather hold out for how it’s “supposed” to look than open up to a new possibility?

Rachel discovered one of the keys to finding love is changing your rules. The second is understanding exactly how men think. Click here, and I’ll show you step by step how to find and understand your own Mr. Right.

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  1. 1
    Kat Wilder

    Well, the story of how Marlena Blavin fell in love with David Roche (http://www.davidroche.com/) is truly one that goes right to the heart of breaking through “supposed to look like.”

    A few years ago, not too long after I’d gotten divorced after 15 years of marriage, I fell hard for someone and then we split after about 6 months. I was hurt, sad, the usual breakup emotions, but then I asked myself, “Kat, what is it that you really want? Marriage? Causal dating? A relationship?” The last time I’d been single, I was in my 20s and it looked like this meet someone, fall in love, date, get married have kids. I’m 40-something now with a teen it’s certainly not going to look like that anymore!

    We mess ourselves up when we go into anything with the “supposed to look like this” visuals. So much better, as you’ve helped Rachel see, to be open to the possibilities. There’s a world of them out there …
    .-= Kat Wilder´s last blog ..Animal attraction isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be =-.

  2. 2

    Before the onslaught begins:

    “Being open to more kinds of men” != “Settling for someone you aren’t enthused about”

  3. 3

    Well, he’s pretty much in line with what I was looking for, but I know that I wasn’t what the BF was looking for – I am radically different from anyone else he has ever dated physically and educationally.

    He also certainly never expected to go on one date with someone he met off MySpace and have it be “the one,” especially considering I was supposed to be his “practice date,” since I was the first person he went out with after ending a four-year relationship. Practice date! We laugh about it now.

    We’re not officially engaged yet, but we decided a year or two ago that we wanted to get married on the anniversary of the day we met. Both financially and because we wanted to wait until that day was a Friday or Saturday, we tentatively set the date – May 12, 2012, the six year anniversary of the day we met. Huzzah!

    They ARE out there, everyone – keep looking!
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..Good News Follows Good News: Or, LinkedIn Works!? =-.

  4. 4

    @ Steve #2,

    I don’t believe that’s necessarily true. I think Kat’s got it right that what what a woman thinks she has to have in one stage of life is not necessarily what she’s going to have to have in another. Sometimes we make choices and decisions out of habit rather than it’s what we really want. I would also submit to you that sometimes (not always mind you) being overly enthusiastic about someone right off the bat can keep a woman from being objective. There needs to be a healthy level of objectivity so that a woman can make wise choices.

  5. 5
    Mikko Kemppe

    One of my favorite blog posts so far. I agree with Evan about the importance of opening up to new possibilities and not to take dating so seriously. And Kat I think you are right, life is never perfect and it would be foolish to try to mold it to fit what we think it should look like.

    I have to admit that I have definitely been in the category of holding out to what it is “supposed” to look like as well as opened up to new possibilities and have found happiness and great experiences in both.
    .-= Mikko Kemppe´s last blog ..A BIG Mistake Many, Especially Honest, Women Unknowingly Make on a Date and How to Avoid It. =-.

  6. 6
    Karl R

    This topic summarizes several topics that I feel strongly about. In previous topics people have tried to justify why they won’t date…

    Men over 40 who are still single

    Smart, successful women

    Women their own age (specifically older men)

    Short men

    Curvy women

    Asian men

    And I’m sure the list could go on.

    In every case it seems to me that people are ruling out a large group of people based on a perceived flaw that a subset of that group possess.

    Some short men are insecure about their height. Some aren’t.
    Some “curvy” women on dating sites are morbidly obese. Some are actually curvy.
    Some smart, successful women don’t know how to relax and have fun. Some do.

    If a woman is smart and successful, I can spare the time to go on a date and see if she’s fun to be around. If a woman describes herself as “curvy”, I can spare a minute to look at her profile pictures to see if I agree with her assessment. I’m not in such a hurry to find a long-term girlfriend that I have to rule women out in the first few seconds.

  7. 7

    Hey Steve, where does it say Rachel isn’t enthused about the guy?

  8. 8

    @6, Steve uses the “does not equal” syntax.

    I’ve never read Evan’s advice as “date someone who does not enthuse you, and see what happens.” I’ve taken it to mean if you are a woman who always dates corporate lawyers and executives and you enjoy fine dining and traveling, but you are single and frustrated with those men because they don’t devote much time to relationships, then maybe you should go out once or twice with the community college professor who got a graduate degree living with lost peoples in the jungle. Sure, your tastes are different on paper, maybe too different, but you just might find that you have more fun hanging out on the boardwalk of Coney Island than beside a pool in the Hamptons. To experience that, however, you’d have to be open to a guy who on paper, does NOT have the potential to be your type, but who certainly has potential in his own way.

  9. 9

    About my comment in #6:

    Let me clarify what I meant.

    I’ve read many threads on this blog. Anytime I’ve seen the suggestion made that women might want to open their minds to any man other than “Mr. What I Want 100% No Exceptions” there have been voluminous and STRONG responses.

    That is why I wrote that being open minded to different people doesn’t mean hooking up with someone you are not happy with.

  10. 10

    Evan, excellent post! I know many people who married someone who wasn’t there ‘type’, mainly because they’d been dating the wrong type all along.

    I think the danger is that as people get older they become more set in their ways. And confuse what they’re looking for with old habits/comfort zone.

  11. 12

    @Honey, #3

    Now I’m scared shitless that some random woman I come across could end up as my wife :-).

    Seriously, nice story!

    1. 12.1

      …She may wind up as your wife….very true..

  12. 13


    No, Steve, you’re exaggerating. What has happened here is that women have expressed opinions that they prefer not to date men who incidentally match some of the categories you fall under (never married over 40 and men who have roommates), and you’ve made it personal. No one has ever said “Mr. What I Want 100% No Exceptions.”

    I’ve dated (and married) outside my religion (raised Catholic, married Jewish). I’ve dated many men outside my race. I’ve dated short men, tall men, heavy men, and thin men. Men with extraordinarily high incomes and men who made considerably less money than me. Men with PhDs and JDs and men with Associates Degrees. Men who like camping and men who like luxury hotels. Men who read Plato and men who prefer comic books. I’ve dated men who lived across town and men who lived across the country. No one can accuse me of not being open to different types of men.

    As someone who is a proponent of scientific research, you should know you can’t take one data group (e.g., women who have had bad experiences dating older bachelors and therefore prefer not to date them) and extrapolate their findings into every situation across the board (e.g., they won’t date anyone who doesn’t meet their narrow expectations).

    And by the way, Evan based this post on one anecdote from a single client. I don’t see you demanding that he show you the scientific research to prove his point.

  13. 14

    @ #9

    I understand your frustration, I do. As a curvy girl, I get the short shrift that Karl R mentioned in his post. But instead of trying to convince someone like Lance, who prefers skinny women with small breasts, to date someone like me, I think “Oh well, his loss,” and move on. As I’ve said before, dating is not an equal opportunity venture. Just as you are not obliged to date obese women or women who live beyond their means or women who live in Timbuktu, I am not obligated to date men who don’t meet my compatibility criteria.

  14. 15

    I like this post. It’s very uplifting, and dating and relationships can really suck, so kudos to EMK for offering a different POV.

    I must say that I’ve dated a lot of different kind of guys, like Cilla, and so I would have described myself as open. But maybe not so. Because I dated guys I didn’t really get along with so well as people, even though we got along on paper and I admired them for their accomplishments or talents or some such.

    So I thought I would end up with a financial guy, actually, because I’ve dated so many. Not my “type” exactly–it just happened because of the environments I’m in. Never in a million years would I have thought that the one who really gives me pause is a school teacher. I’m just crazy about him in a very normal, grounded way. We really respect each other and love spending time together. I keep waiting to feel that “uh, oh” feeling that I usually get about date two or three. But that feeling is just not forthcoming, and I don’t expect it to show up.

    We knew each other through a mutual friend for awhile before we started going out and I never considered him because 1) he’s 1.5 years younger than I am, 2) he’s is very attractive physically and a good dresser, 3) he’s very reserved in his demeanor, especially regarding sex and women, and 4) he isn’t into chasing money or things. Meaning, he is a person of depth and insight and conscience. These are all good things, right? So why would I not be open to someone like this?

    Because I really had to spend time with him to discover all of this, and on the surface it just seems like not a lot going on–he wouldn’t be into me because he can probably get someone younger and hotter, and I wouldn’t be into him because I can get someone older and richer and more successful. That’s the way it’s supposed to go, right?

    The time of discovering that he is so wonderful did not occur on dates, I have to say, it occurred just hanging out socially. I’m not sure he and I would have hit it off if we met in a dating situation; dating is a situation where people swap their social currency (stereotypically for men it’s money and power; for women it’s looks and youth), and the people who have a lot of that currency can play the game with confidence and abandon. But people like me and the teacher maybe don’t do so well at that game, and maybe in our case there is something of a reversal going on.

    It’s hard to find the spaces where you can get to know someone apart from all the pursuing, strategizing, presenting, etc. Just naturally you can be open to all sorts of people if you meet them in non-dating contexts.

  15. 16

    I do not know if this applies to me. When I was younger I did have a type. Now I am very open BUT I still have to be attracted to the person. A few times in an attempt to be open , I met up with guys online that I did not find attractive based on their picture. So far in every case, I still was not attracted to them. And in some cases they appeared to be nice but I just couldn’t get pass how they looked and was turned off. I hope I do not offend anyone, but the other thing is that I do not respond to overweight men and men shorter than myself . But I am open to other races, religions, and any profession. Again I need to be physically attracted to the guy and I will admit that sometimes a person’s personality and presence can offset the physical.

  16. 17

    Most of the comments are from women and their expectations, but I’d like to hear what the guys have to say. Relationships happen when the guy takes the initiative, and I’ve found that many limit themselves because of a woman’s hair color/butt size/profession/height, etc. which – as Evan points out in this post – has absolutely nothing to do with how someone will be as a relationship partner.

    Someone I know who’s a dating coach had been trying to fix this guy up with his dream match – he only wanted petite skinny girls w brown hair. After 10 different matches, he claims no chemistry, but won’t waiver on his criteria. He figures since he’s footing the bill he should get what he wants.

  17. 18

    To downtowngal #17, your sentiments are kind of in line with what I was thinking about yesterday, after reading an article about how it’s fairly predictable what a guy sees as “hot or not,” but not so with women. We’re always more complicated, aren’t we? 😉

    I know that the majority of Evan’s advice is tailored toward women, but how about the men? Shouldn’t they also consider looking more outside of the box? Interesting thing about the article is that it appears that women have less competition and more options, but the guys face stiffer competition due to how they are all looking for about the same thing. I don’t know; you know how studies go.

    I think women are initially more inclined to look beyond the edges to see what’s inside which, in turn, depending on the man, can sometimes turn a frog into a prince. Of course, superficiality is more than just looks; it’s money, career, prior relationships, religion, race, parenthood, etc.

  18. 19
    Karl R

    Cilla said: (#14)
    “I understand your frustration, I do.”

    Based on the example you gave, I would say you don’t understand.

    If someone (let’s say Lance’s evil twin Vance) said he didn’t date curvy girls because they were too lazy to get out and exercise, you would probably have a big problem with that statement.

    You would probably point out that many curvy girls (yourself included) exercise regularly. You would probably point out that you exercise more than many skinny girls you know. To which Vance would smugly reply, “Methinks thou dost protest a bit too much.”

    Once you grasp the difference between the two situations, then you will understand Steve’s frustration. He’s not frustrated that you won’t date him. He’s frustrated that you’re associating him with negative traits that he doesn’t possess.

  19. 20

    DTG: Ha! That’s called hiring a personal shopper, not a dating coach. 🙂

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