I felt like all I did was screw up. I am no stranger to self-improvement and self-help and self-awareness, but when it came to dating, I felt like I was from outer space. I couldn’t understand why men did what they did, I felt like I was completely in the right and men were in the wrong, I felt like maybe it wasn’t even worth it to put myself out there and try to find love. I felt cynical and jaded and hopeless. Most of all, I felt helpless to change anything.

I thought that if I had a great date with a guy, then it meant that he wanted me in his life. I thought that if there was immediate chemistry and attraction and good conversation, then we were meant to be together. I thought that it was perfectly all right for me to remind a man that I existed in between dates, by texting, calling, emailing, and checking up on him via the dating website. I thought that the best way to be happy in a relationship was to keep the man on a short leash. Unfortunately, none of these beliefs were getting me the sort of results I wanted in my dating life. It had been over a decade since my last satisfying relationship and I had nearly resigned myself to being alone and unhappy for the rest of my life.

I learned that men will do what they want to do and my nagging, complaining, and harping will not get him to change his mind or his behavior. What it will do is create distance and cause him to feel unsafe/unhappy around me, leading to his withdrawal. I learned that when a man is really into you, he’ll be thinking about you, calling you, eager to see you again, and generally keeping well in touch in between dates. He’ll be interested to learn more about you, as a person. Even though he’s anxious for it, he’ll wait for sex. He’ll respond to appreciation and acceptance. He’s not commitment-phobic.

I have to say that I am in the most satisfying relationship I have ever had. I owe it all to Evan’s FOCUS Coaching and the support I received from the other women. I have been challenged to examine my beliefs about relationships and about men and about myself. I have been urged to step up my communication and meet my man at the level of honesty that he is proposing. I have been gently reproved. I am in an exclusive relationship with a man who is always happy to see me, who treats me like a lady, and who welcomes me into every aspect of his life, unreservedly. We felt like we knew each other instantly and the connection just grew over the weeks and months following. He tells everyone how happy he is with me. I feel completely accepted by him and I look forward to more time with him.

I feel hopeful about the future. For the first time, I look at a man and I don’t see wedding bells and a big poufy dress. I see an ordinary, happy, genuine life together, complete with grocery shopping, paying the bills, taking vacations, and home renovations. I see me side-by-side with the man who cherishes me for being me. This is the man who has shown me by his actions that I matter to him, that he wants to build a life with me, and that his life is better with me than without me. I feel treasured for who I am. I am so happy to have met a man who enriches my life and makes even the most mundane of tasks seem fun. Life has more possibility than I had imagined.