Failing to Plan? - You're Planning to Fail!
© Dr. Dennis Neder
I read your article on the internet, found that some of the things you mentioned are things I've recently decided to do/utilize such as the Internet, dating services as methods to meet people.
I am not sure why I haven't met anyone for marriage at this point in my life, but I am an attractive successful 37-year-old woman who wants to have the opportunity to have one child at least, and would like to meet a life partner but I've refused to settle over the years.
It seems the men that I feel a strong attraction and chemistry for end up cheating. I think I have trust issues with men in the first place and wonder if I intentionally choose the cheaters for some strange reason, but fail to have relationships with the good guys who would probably be faithful but with whom I don't feel any chemistry. I am beginning to panic about my biological clock.
I wasted about 3 years with an on-again, off-again guy 8 yrs. younger than me who seemed to have only been around when it was convenient for him. I waited around hoping that this would change. It didn't. I also do not think I was focused enough or serious enough about going after and getting a good relationship during the in-between periods of all my bad relationships.
I feel like I just got chewed up and spit out by someone that I spent 7 months with who seemed to be crazy about me, but when we had disagreements which were usually over his flirting, he would take my angriness as further rejection and come on to another woman which would aggravate things even further, and in the end make me feel insecure and disrespected.
I feel like I was used in the end, even though he told me that he loved me throughout the course of the relationship. He ended up sleeping with and dating someone else that works in our office (we work together). He still tries to get my attention and tries to angle his way into having me speak to him, when it is only destructive to me in the end. He wants to sleep with me and has made it clear from the way he has treated me that he is not capable of nor willing to deliver more. He has since left the girl that he slept with and dated after me, and I am so emotionally spent after all this that I feel like on one hand I need my recovery time, but on the other hand, need to get the show on the road, quickly because of my biological clock. That relationship ended over 6 months ago but I have to see him every day at work.
I just can't figure out why I insist on staying in things that are clearly not right for me, and so unhealthy. I can't understand why I let the bad feelings linger so long after these things don't work out either. It makes it hard for me to move on and wipe the slate clean. My naturally competitive nature may be forcing me to try to hold onto guys who have no depth or durability, I'm not sure...
I think I see what's going on here. There are two things:
1) You are attracted to "trophy guys", just as many men are attracted to "trophy girls"; and,
2) You have no plan.
Let's deal with these things in order:
You are probably viewing dating more as an ego boost than a fulfilling adjunct to your emotional life. I say this first because you defiantly ARE trying to find guys that you can't possibly keep in the long term without giving up far too much of yourself. Further, these guys obviously don't share your goals; even if they might say they do at first.
I don't want to discount chemistry, as it is very important to relationships - especially in the beginning. But, it is only one aspect of the relationship. Further, you can develop chemistry over time with someone whom you feel closeness.
All relationships go through 3 stages: the "excitement phase", the "bonding phase", and the "familiar phase". Many people make the mistake of thinking that the relationship is only the "excitement phase", and when that dies off, they think the relationship is over. In fact, this is the time you really want to strive for. It is the most fulfilling to most people!
Let's look at the plan issue.
I say this all the time in the many interviews I do all over the world: people spend more time planning their vacations than they spend planning their lives. Isn't this ridiculous? In my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", I devote 3 chapters to considering, developing and implementing a "relationship plan".
Why have a relationship plan at all? Because without it, any guy that walks by is the right one. You see; you're a victim of this too. You have no plan, so you're using chemistry as the only guide in looking for a partner. Instead, if you were to sit down and really develop this plan, you'd know right up front if someone fits or not. You don't have to rely solely on feelings - you can use logic too!
Once your plan is done, you'll get instant clarity and start to see why the guys you've been choosing aren't right for you - they don't fit in with your goals. You'll start focusing on the guys that DO fit your plan. When you create this plan, something magical happens in your brain.
This is something like how your brain filters out unneeded information to let you focus on the things you DO want. For example, you're not aware of the feeling of your clothes, your hair, or the pressure of the chair against your back unless you think about them. On the other hand, let someone mentions something that you've never heard of before like a certain car, sports team, or food, and all of a sudden, you start to see it all over the place.
This is how a well thought-out plan helps us move ahead. Without it, you're just at the mercy of whatever life brings your way. With a plan, you're in control.
Good luck, much love...
Author of Being a Man in a Woman's World, Dr. Dennis Neder is dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of relationships. His mantra: start having the relationships you deserve! New articles are posted every Wednesday!
Do you have a love, dating, relationship, sex or man/woman question? Dr. Dennis Neder answers all email, so send him an email for answers. For more information about his books, "Being a Man in a Woman's World" (volumes I & II), and other products, please visit BeingAMan.com.