For various reasons that I don’t want to get into, though not for lack of opportunity, I was a virgin at 34 when I joined Love U.

A very successful one who had gone out on some dates but not ever taking it that seriously, and never truly having found that one guy that I really wanted to be with. I decided that I could either spend the rest of my life alone, or apply that logic and determination that I have so well in my professional life and try to find love. A lot of my friends were like, why don’t you just lose your virginity and get it over with so you can date more, it’s not that big a deal. But it was a big deal to me. I had waited this long and I wanted to find that special guy, the one who would love, cherish, respect, and commit to me, who was my match on every level, who would appreciate the gift that I was giving him and understand me for who I am. That was the one I was going to give myself to and it would be all of me. He would fall in love with me, commit to me, and we would be working towards marriage and a future together.

Now as most of you probably realize, this is rather a monumental task to achieve when you are a 34-year-old virgin dating in this fast-paced, sex on the second date, online world. Take everything that you are supposed to do – flirt but not be too sexy, be feminine but still maintain your boundaries, let him lead but know when to set him up for success, lead him around the bases (what are bases?) but don’t sleep with him until he is your boyfriend, figure out how to get him to the point of being your boyfriend, etc. – and then multiply that by a factor of “I’ve never done this before and gosh I hope it doesn’t show.”

Evan’s truthful messaging is correct: in order to be incredibly successful, when you haven’t achieved what you wanted in life, you have to be willing to undergo deep introspection about yourself and be willing to radically change your life. You absolutely cannot hang on to the old ways of doing things like some kind of security blanket. You have to be bold because nothing in life worth having isn’t without some measure of risk.

So, I really applied myself. I went deep into who I am and what I needed and wanted in a relationship. I found my flaws but also identified all the wonderful things about my character. I took a hard look at the kind of man I really NEEDED, the one who will stand by my side. Did he look anything like the kind of “successful” man I had superficially envisioned? I found my backbone and confidence and fun. I checked the men who were too aggressive, who didn’t respect me and created positive energy wherever I went. I believed in my own success, that this could happen. And I stopped dating out of a feeling of fear and scarcity – fear that I had missed the boat, that there were no longer any good men out there, that even if I were to find him, he’d think I was weird or wouldn’t accept me, blah blah blah. I had to get out of my own way and trust the process.

So, if I can leave you with any parting advice from my own experience, it’s this:

1) Find out who you are. And then really try hard to find out who he is. Not what he looks like, or what he does, but who he has to be at the heart of the matter. Because in time, all the other stuff fades and what you are left is just each other.

2) Be yourself. If that means getting in touch with your feminine side then do so. But if it’s just who you are right now, the best you, then be proud of that. Don’t change who you are to be with someone because you think you need to. The guy who is the right one for you will let you be completely yourself. Think of how many silly quirks I have. And my husband appreciates all of them and I feel completely myself. That’s what you have to be confident in expressing and accepting no less than a guy who can give you that total acceptance.

3) Don’t be afraid. Every mistake is just one more link in the path of trying to be a better you. The only mistake you can make is being so paralyzed from fear of messing up and losing the guy that you don’t even try. Or not learning from your mistakes. Give yourself the freedom of taking a chance on someone. And don’t be with someone who is bad for you because you are afraid that there’s no one else who can treat you better. You get for yourself what you accept. Learn to ask for what you are worth.

4) Believe in yourself. Have faith and believe in your future. The future is a fluid thing and you can change it if you can just have a little faith and continue putting one foot in front of the other. Have faith in Evan and the process. He has great advice but if the seeds of wisdom fall on a fallow field it’s not going to germinate into much. You have got to trust in yourself and your ability to make it happen.

My husband and I are now a stronger force together than we could have ever been apart and we are both still growing together as people and as part of a family. I could not have gotten here without the loving support and sometimes smack in the head from all of you. I hope that I have been helpful too in your time of need. And never forget, we women as a community need to support one another. There are so many instances in the world today that women are not allowed to date or have any basic human rights at all. And also, that there are great men out there like Evan who support us and believe in us. So, we have a prerogative to pass it forward and believe in ourselves.

Much love,