Thursday, March 20, 2008

How to Feel Attractive to Men (When You Don't Feel Attractive)

Hi, Terry-

You know when you're over 40 (just, lol) and working, with loads of other responsibilities/drains on all resources? Well it can be very demanding just getting from one day to the next. Add to this the worry about how rapidly looks seem to fade, it's more difficult than ever to stay in top form when you meet someone and you're out there dating again.

Can you add some of your no-nonsense advice on this general theme. As you know, I'm going through changes in outlook and life, the excitement of following your advice is bringing all sorts of improvements, I'd just like something to help me stay on track during the more jaded times. It can be a real challenge not to fall back into the negative unhealthy patterns, and I've learnt that this thinking leads women (me) to make bad/desperate decisions.

But feeling like a desirable, wonderful woman when you're worn out just surviving, well, I'm only hitting it in spots. I definitely feel older and see changes in my appearance and body, it's beginning to gnaw at me a bit regarding my attractiveness to men. Although, look at the plonkers I attracted when I was in my 20s and wrinkle free!

Thanks for your ongoing dedication to women and improved relationships.



Hello, C.-

Thanks for a question I can really sink my teeth into.

When I was in my 20s, I read a fabulous book that seriously changed my life called The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy, PhD.

This fellow, Dr. Murphy, proposed:

"Your subconscious mind is conditioned by your thoughts. If your thoughts are constantly on the beautiful, the noble, and the good, you will remain young regardless of the chronological years."

I would like to add that you''ll look younger, too.

You may be 40 (just!), but what exactly does that mean? I read a critically-acclaimed and commercially successful novel last week that described a man of 45 as old.

I had a choice right there and then: To accept the idea that a person who's inhabited the planet for only 45 years is old (when a US weatherman says he's deluged with increasing numbers of letters from humans celebrating their one-hundredth years and can't fit them all into his "Happy Birthday" segment), or to reject that notion immediately.

So please change your beliefs about being whatever age you are.

If you tell yourself your looks are fading, trust me, you will act on that belief. It will show in your eyes and in your posture and in the way you wear your hair. Tell yourself instead, "I am younger and more beautiful every day." Close your eyes and feel it. Then open your eyes and say it to yourself in the mirror.

(I guarantee you will feel like a fool doing this, but keep it up. It will make a difference.)

Stop saying, "I'm 40." What if you were to pretend and say instead, "I'm 30?"

After my 35th birthday, after reading Dr. Murphy's book for the 60,000th time, I decided to tell myself, "I'm 25." And guess what? I realized I didn't feel a second over 35, so why should I be 35?

(NOTE: I don't advocate lying about one's age--or about anything else-- to other people, however. I'm also on the fence about keeping one's age to oneself; the beautiful 54-year-old model Christie Brinkley shouts her age to the world, but a 103-year-old woman I know used to keep hers quiet because she didn't want other people "limiting" her.)

I've known people who were old at 25, who cried about having reached the quarter-century mark. By the time they were 30, they were grunting when they got off a couch. Conversely, I know a 76-year-old man who used to go around telling himself, "I'm younger than springtime" when he was in his 40s and 50s (and he probably still does).

You should see him now.

He didn't retire until he was close to 72. Shortly before then, he got to talking to a much-younger man on the train. When the younger man discovered the older man's age, he couldn't believe it. He slapped the older man on the back and exclaimed, "Can you believe this guy? Can you believe he's over 70?"

Then he shook the older man's hand and thanked him for being an inspiration.

So, please change your beliefs. If your jawline looks a bit slack, tell yourself it's firming up. I'm sure plastic surgeons will take issue with this method, but your subconscious mind is powerful. Think young. Act young.

Also, if you find yourself waking up with puffy eyes and a sorry complexion, examine the food you eat. Stick with unprocessed food. Avoid MSG. A good friend of mine has been blessedly free of football eyes and sausage fingers ever since she discovered she's allergic to gluten.

Please avoid fast food, or anything made with partially-hydrogenated oil or high-fructose corn syrup.

Also, keep in mind the things you liked to do when you were young, and if you still like them, make time for them. Learning new things keeps you young, as well. Dr. Murphy wrote:

"My father learned the French language at 65 years of age and became an authority on it at 70. He made a study of Gaelic when he was over 60, and became an acknowledged and famous teacher of the subject. He assisted my sister in a school of higher learning and continued to do so until he passed away at 99. His mind was as clear at 99 as it was when he was 20. Moreover, his handwriting and his reasoning powers had improved with age. Truly, you are as old as you think and feel."

Here's another quote you may find helpful from The Power of Your Subconscious Mind:

"You are as young as you think you are. You are as strong as you think you are. You are as useful as you think you are. You are as young as your thoughts."

I'd like to add, "You're as attractive as you think you are." Keep telling yourself, "I am a wonderful, desirable woman. There's a man out there who'll be lucky to have me."