“I would like to be in a relationship, but there’s one thing holding me back,” Stacey said.
“Men. I don’t trust them. They’re users. They’ve destroyed the lives of so many good women I know. Like, I’m glad my mother met my father, or I wouldn’t be alive. But he made her life a misery.”
I could see the pain in Stacey’s eyes. “And you worry that might happen to you?”
“It has. I won’t even tell you about some of my boyfriends. I’ll just say, if there are any good men out there, I haven’t met them.” She paused. “Of course, I didn’t mean you, James! But I don’t know many people like you.”
Stacey wasn’t my first client with this complaint. Many of the women I work with have a negative view of the opposite sex. It’s hard when you look back at your past and see all the times you’ve been hurt or betrayed.
But it’s a mistake to tar all men with the same brush. In fact, many men struggle with similar feelings. They’ve been hurt before, too, so they start to feel suspicion and mistrust towards all women.
Any time we generalize from personal experience towards any group of people as a whole, we head into a danger zone. We stop treating people as individuals and instead treat them as representatives of their gender, race or class.
When it comes to love, throwing all men into the same category backfires big-time. It’s hard to spot a good man when you’re predisposed to seeing someone bad.
Luckily, there’s a way to turn that around.
I call it “tuning into the Good Man channel.”
When you turn on the radio, a certain kind of music comes on. Maybe you like that music; maybe you don’t.
If you don’t, listening to it can get pretty annoying. You don’t like anything they play. So maybe you end up turning it off. Silence is preferable to that noise.
But there’s another option. You could just change the channel.
Right now, the ways you search for love and the criteria you use to pick a mate determine which “channel” you’re listening to.
If you go on Tinder and swipe right on all the best-looking guys, you’re going to get a different cross-section of masculinity than if you went on eHarmony and selected all the men looking for a committed long-term relationship.
If you go to karaoke night at the local bar every Thursday to meet men, then you’re going to get a different cross-section of masculinity than if you joined a hiking club.
What’s your default way of meeting men?
What criteria do you use to decide who to date and who to dump?
These types of questions determine what kind of channel you’re using to connect with guys.
If your channel is working for you, then don’t change that dial!
But if you don’t like the men you’re meeting, don’t turn off your receiver and sit in silence. Change the channel.
Don’t assume everything on the airwaves is noise. You don’t want to stop dating because you believe all men are the same.
Instead, keep changing channels until you find one that suits you. Here’s how.
If you’re using a dating app and don’t like the results you’re getting, try a different one.
Some dating coaches suggest having profiles on at least three different sites: a big site like Match.com and several smaller sites that cater to specialized interests.
That can get expensive, so another option is to change your dating profile regularly.
Write several different profiles, each emphasizing a different side of your personality. Switch them up and see what happens. (Save each version in a separate document so you have a record of which ones worked and which ones didn’t.)
But maybe no online dating channel is going to work for you. You do better meeting men in person. So find interesting groups to join in your area. Meetup.com is a great resource.
Also consider how you’re choosing the men you’re dating. Is your main criteria chemistry, scintillating conversations, or shared interests? Then see what happens if you choose men based on shared values.
It’s easy to blame all men for the behavior of a few bad ones. But you have more power than you realize. You have the power of choice.
Don’t like your past choices? Then choose differently.
Good men want to find you. Help them out by adjusting the dial and listening for something that moves you.
I am 79, have dated men younger than my age, and men older than me and I have had lunch or dinner with 20 men in the past year and have not cared for any of them because many just want sex before a friendship even. I say that is putting the cart before the horse and would like to find someone I am attracted to, but so far that hasn’t worked in my favor. Maybe I am too picky, that’s what some friends have told me, but should I have to settle. I am not looking for money but I don’t want to have to support a second person either.Can you give me some ideas on what I need to do to meet a good person??? Thank you.
Hi, Betty. It sounds like you have a lot of experience and are looking for a more tailored approach to finding a compatible partner. One strategy that may be helpful is to tap into your network of friends and acquaintances.
Letting them vet potential partners for you can be a great way to increase the likelihood of finding a good match. Get specific about the kind of person you’re interested in and be sure to share what has turned you off so far. For example, if you’re looking for someone who is interested in travel, share that with your network. If you’ve been turned off by people who seem only interested in sex, share that as well. By being open and specific about what you’re looking for, you can help your network identify potential matches who share your values and interests.
Another strategy to consider is expanding your social circle. Spend time with people in contexts where you can get to know them in groups. Attend events and gatherings that cater to your interests and passions. By meeting new people who share your interests, you increase the likelihood of finding someone who is a good match.
Always on your side,
Thanks for this! I have done karaoke but what a no brainer that it’s a casual dating scene:/! d’Oh. And I do like hiking.
Yes, great advice.
A year after my husband died I dated a man I had known since Middle School, then after that ended I dated a man I had dated in college. That ended as well, neither nicely.
The first man was controlling and the second unceremoniously dumped me (after finding someone much younger).
Sigh…thought I’d never meet a good man. Then, I signed up for a “senior” dating site. After a couple of less than intriguing meet-ups, I met the man I adore (and he adores me). You know why he contacted me? Because he was interested in a picture of me fishing! We connected in April of this year and have been together ever since. So many areas where we “connect.”
So, ladies, don’t give up. There are many good men out there.
Anybody have a lovely friend but all the male attention goes to her? I am definitely not “chopped liver,” either. She likes going out with me, always asks me along, likes to drive, wants MY company. Doesn’t realize that the “wing-woman” thing is getting old for me.
What can I do without hurting her feelings? She IS a good friend.
I’m not afraid to go to places by myself, either.
That’s definitely a problem, Silver, and one you can address without thinking “either/or.” There’s no doubt that people judge our attractiveness as something relative to the nearest “anchor” (in this case, your lovely friend).
Perhaps the solution is not to address it with your friend at all. Though, if I were in her shoes I would feel flattered by a gentle explanation of your perception regarding her good looks. Maybe then she would want to brainstorm solutions with you and it could become a bonding opportunity.
True love is never ending ????❤️????????????❤️????????????❤️????????????❤️????????????❤️????????????❤️????????????❤️????????????❤️????????
I’ve been in a relationship for 12 months and he tells me I’m the love of his life. But he goes hot and cold and doesn’t like talking about anything to do with how he is feeling. He also has issues with intimacy
How do I get through past this
Counseling? Or a Group that addresses couples issues, church-run, or secular? Just suggestions.
Love this and even though I have never tarred all men with the same brush, I keep choosing the wrong men. This was perfect timing for me to read. Thank you!!
I’m beginning to think its me. Is it my presence, the way I present myself, my voice. My breath. What is it?
Do what James says hun, change the channel. And keep changing until you find the right channel.