When I opened this email the other day, it brought tears to my eyes. It's from a woman who used to settle for less than she deserved in relationships. I'm reprinting it here in case you're in a similar spot and searching for encouragement.
Thank you, C., for writing and sharing your inspiring story.
I've met a lovely guy who lives nine miles away from me. He's kind, understanding, not too talky, great sense of humour. Looks a bit like a celebrity.
The *next man list* I made out which had about 100 qualities on it seems to have more ticked off it each time I meet him. He doesn't have a string of girlfriends, children, or an ex wife. Last night on about date 4, I discovered another favourite thing of mine, he has a hairy broad muscular chest. None of my friends can believe in this day and age I've met a single 40 year old man.
As I'm 5'10", I wanted a tall man, he's over 6ft. Of course, being well armed with knowledge from your information, I'm pacing it, he's ringing and can't get enough. It's empowering and I'm coming from a more balanced relaxed place. Because he's the only one ringing, no matter how many days go between, I know where I stand with him. If he tries anything slightly disrespectful, like trying to see me with no advance planning, he doesn't get away with it. In fact he didn't get to see me Valentine's Day because he didn't give me enough notice. That taught him a good lesson!!! He really upped his game after that.
You know the trouble I had with my previous 4 years on/off relationship, and the heartache I went through with upsets and unpredictability, me being the underdog. For over a year I read all your advice, would move on, and then keep going back to him. All my friends told me I looked (and I was) miserable. Yet when I finally let go of that rollercoaster relationship, and was totally honest about how dreadfully he was treating me, my life opened out.
Good things started to happen, instead of ever-decreasing circles, I began to find my world expanding and my confidence increasing. And I thank God since the breakup in January I've had none of the previous heartbreak associated with my ex.
I started making a list of what I wanted in a man and relationship about a year ago during yet another breakup. This year 2008, I really began to believe that when I let go of my ex, I would meet the new man on my list.
These are all difficult things to do when you listen to popular thinking like, a woman over 40 has only 1% chance of getting married, there are no good men left, coupled with fear of not meeting anyone again, men wanting younger women etc. Anyway, thanks for all the strong advice on how not to just settle, how to be my best feminine self, how to put myself first. The overall change in thinking didn't happen immediately but now it's becoming second nature.
Even if things don't work out with this new man, I KNOW there are plenty of fish in the sea and there is a perfect man for me out there. It's almost unnerving how many of the qualities in my list this new man has, and look at how soon I've met him. Last Saturday he said he has seen me before over the past few years, but hadn't the courage to ask me out. So as soon as I moved on from the going nowhere scenario, he appeared "as if by magic."
I hope stories like this encourage you to keep helping women, because there are a lot of women who really need to turn their thinking around. If you consistently hear a message with a truth in it, it will change your life.
My friend, who had lived a crazy life, taking speed and clubbing, has totally changed this year too. She says I've had an incredible influence on her. This past weekend she has had two men courting her attention, after years of being Miss-brought-home-from-the-nightout (never brought out)!
Another friend, who is 56, has ended a doormat type of relationship of 20 years since seeing the changes in me and my attitude about how I was too good for the lies, using and crap my ex doled out to me. She was living with this player type guy who golfed with my ex, even after 20 years with her, he wouldn't divorce his ex-wife or introduce her to his brothers and sisters! So you see, Terry, these are very positive knock-on effects in real lives you are having, and I really, really wanted you to know that :)
Thank you so much for all your time, for your dedication to improving women's self respect and their enjoyment of the wonder of their lives. Thank you for taking time to respond to me personally when I felt I was so confused and felt I was worth nothing. Take five minutes to appreciate some things happening on the other side of the world which are significantly better because of you.