I was about a year out from my divorce when I stumbled across Evan’s blog and his awesome book “Why He Disappeared”. After the pain and fallout of a failed marriage and the subsequent divorce proceedings and arranging shared custody of my young child, I was so thrilled to live with hope again for a happy future. I felt like I had a second chance and I was determined to make the most of it. I waited about a year to start dating again and it was during this year that I found Evan’s blog and I started “studying” before I even made myself available to date. Evan’s advice on his blog convinced me to try online dating and helped me navigate uncharted waters as I gained experience with dating and figuring out what it was exactly that I was looking for in a partner and what I was willing to walk away from.

At the core of all of Evan’s advice, what is deeply embedded into every single thing he says is very simple and straightforward, but it’s something that society doesn’t tell us as women. We are worth a man’s best effort and if we don’t give the best to ourselves, we can’t expect a man to do it for us. No man owes us reassurances or security or affection or even love. Those are all things that are freely given by emotionally healthy people. You have to be willing to give it before you can expect to receive it and it all starts with giving that love and acceptance to yourself. It starts with healthy boundaries, self-care and above all, acceptance. Evan’s frank style and honesty clearly state a man’s perspective and some of his advice was hard to hear, but it was invaluable.

The thing that Evan said that resonated with me the most is how important it is to be your own source of happiness in life. He stresses the importance of creating a great life for yourself, having independence and self-sufficiency in the form of taking care of your own heart. In the five years after my divorce, I have managed to grow my career to become an independent consultant in the field of healthcare finance. I learned how to work cooperatively with my ex-husband in order to share custody of my young son. I also dusted off my old paint brushes and canvases from college and threw myself into my first, great love, which is creating art. In the last five years I became a juried artist and my artwork is in private collections in both the United States and Western Europe. During this time I dated a lot of men from all walks of life, almost all of them I met online. The vast majority of them were great guys but none of these relationships lasted more than three months or so. I was very secure in what I wanted and I knew the right person would come along eventually. So, with Evan’s advice in my back pocket, I dated and had fun. I learned countless lessons about myself along the way. Sometimes it was lonely and sometimes I would have my panicky moments about ending up alone forever, but it was a GOOD five years and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Last year I met my amazing boyfriend online. Even though his profile had no picture and he lived 500 miles away I had a rule that I would respond to any man who referenced information in my profile in his initial email to me. It was important to me that a man be considerate enough to read my profile and make an effort to start a genuine conversation. I had feelings of indifference about returning his email because I wasn’t interested in a long-distance relationship and he had no picture posted, but I stuck to my rule and returned his email. Thank God I did! I love this man more than words and I have never shared something so genuine and fulfilling. He is absolutely everything I was looking for and so much more.

I would never be with my boyfriend today if I hadn’t taken Evan’s advice and focused on myself and what I was bringing to a relationship. If I hadn’t created my awesome and amazing life on my own and taken the time to get to know myself, I doubt that my very successful, handsome, honest and kind boyfriend would be so crazy about me. It is the growth of the last five years that has made me the woman I am today and it’s men like Evan who are generous enough to give us a glimpse into the male mind and the universal way men’s brains are hard-wired to think, process information and feel. My boyfriend and I are in the process of designing the setting for my engagement ring and plans are in the works for him to relocate his job to my state. I will keep you posted!