Earlier this week I participated in a discussion panel on the topic of what women want and how we date in the 21st century. This got me thinking.
Let’s face it, we have lots more dynamics to our dating lives than our parents ever had.
We live in a pervasive hookup culture in which you can line up a one night stand via a phone app. No need to talk, just click. Online dating is an option if you aren’t looking for instant stranger gratification. But all too often the people online are similar to the ones using hookup apps. The lines are the same, the approach has little real substance or depth.
What’s a professional gal to do? When I speak to my professional female clients, they all tell me they don’t want to settle. They want companionship, but feel little pressure to take on just anyone. These women are successful, they have a lot to offer and expect a lot. I understand this perspective on relationships. Women don’t need to settle for just anyone as this usually leads to frustration and disappointment later on.
Modern dating for professional women has extra layers of complexity. If you are accomplished in your profession and you’ve earned accolades, you have a well-developed professional persona. But what about your personal persona? Who are you when you are not at work? What attributes do your friends, family, and exes attribute to you? What intangible trait do you have that is uniquely yours? Do you ever think about these things? By that I mean, how much energy are you putting into developing the nonprofessional side of your personality?
Women who attract quality men into their lives have a certain brand of self-beliefs. If you are afraid you will be alone, you will put that energy into the world. Then your fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you worry there are few quality men in the world, you will not be able to see what’s really out there. You won’t find the available men who would be compatible and well-matched for you. If you are concerned because you seem to attract emotionally unavailable men, this is because of your own self-beliefs. You too are somehow emotionally unavailable and men who are similar pick up on this energy. Your self-beliefs make them gravitate to you.
You can change the narrative of who you attract, but only if you work on yourself first. This may seem counterintuitive because society tells you the opposite. Our culture instructs us that if we have professional success and are attractive, we will then have a successful relationship. This is not accurate. In fact, there are lots of miserable couples who are successful in the professional world and quite attractive. Yet they suffer in completely dysfunctional relationships.
Finding and maintaining a successful relationship takes a lot of self-work, focused effort, and patience. If you fail to build your best self first, you will continue to attract what you do not want. I’m not saying you will need to perfect yourself, only develop into your best self. You’ve done this already as a professional, now you need to do this in your personal life. Once you have the personal persona you wish to share with others, the chances of meeting someone who is a good fit for you are increased. The odds are stacked in your favor.
We are led to believe we can curate our relationships. This is a fallacy. The best relationships come into our lives when we are focused on living our best life, being authentic to who we are, and enjoying where we are and what we have. When this is how you live, you become attractive, a magnet for others who live the same way.
You might be wondering how to tell if a guy is Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now. In the next part of my series on professional women and dating, I will investigate the subject. How do you know when you meet a quality man? Which are the attributes that matter in building a long-term meaningful relationship?
Share Your Experience
Let’s talk. I want to hear about your dating experiences as a professional woman. Do you see a pattern of attracting the same type of guys? Have you noticed that you seem to always date guys with traits you end up despising? Or do you have a success story to share?
Please share your comments. We can learn from you.
***You are capable of receiving love. There is a relationship that will work for you. Sometimes all you need is a nudge in the right direction. If you are struggling with your current relationship, newly divorced and looking to get back in the dating scene, or single and trying to find the right person for you, maybe I can help. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up on my website to receive dating tips and relationship advice. For fast advice, read my book The Relationship Investigator’s Fast Guide to Successful Dating.