Monday, May 12, 2008

Change Your Personality to Attract Men?

Dear Terry,

In your newsletter, you mention that it is important to imagine the type of man one wants to be with and think about it often.

I was wondering how this relates to your method. I would like to know if there is supposed to be some spiritual connection, if so is it religious, if it's religious what religion is it based on?

A little bit about me, I see myself as a misfit with most guys because I'm self sufficient. Have my own car, and I work at a prestigious organisation, so a lot of people think I'm rich.

Some men want you to be dependent on them for everything it seems. I'm studying for a masters degree. However, I'm quiet and shy, and spend a lot of time at work and studying.

But I do assert myself and have a few close friends. I keep getting loads of advice because a lot of relatives can't wait to see me married.

Some of the advice ranges from don't be too picky (and this is advice from a woman who is in her 40s never married and now feels that her time has passed), pamper men with treats eg. cookies, cakes because men like food (tried it and it didn't work), go partying, change your personality. I'm willing to change, and I'm working on the shyness. But I really want a man who can appreciate me for me and my quiet self.

The way I see it, not all the girls who marry are loud extroverts, I truly believe that there are guys who like girls that don't club 24/7 and want to live a good life and are independent but respectful.

I guess I'm interested in your method because you keep saying 'focus on your idea of a perfect man'. This goes against the 'don't be too picky philosphy' which I hate. I hate it because I don't know what the limits are in 'not being too picky', I've dated a guy who was less educated but absolutely georgeous, and I loved him or had a serious like for him, and he ended up making his ex girl pregnant.

I tried a "good" boy from church who is just as educated as I am, though he didn't have a car at the time (which I think bothered him), but he ended up mistreating me, which left me in shock because I didn't think he could ever do that to me because of his strong position on Christianity. Not to take too much of your time, since I'm sure you have a million emails to read, I really just want my perfect match.

So I don't have to dumb myself down or compromise myself. That's all I want which sometimes feels like I'm asking the impossible. I want to be happy the day after the wedding, knowing that I made the right decisions. I haven't been in a lot of relationships and don't want to be in alot of relationships, so I tend to chase guys as I realise something about them that I don't like. Seems like I've made a huge statement, please let me know any advice you have for me.

Patiently Waiting

Dear Patiently Waiting-

Wow. You've asked a lot of questions, and I hope I don't miss any of them.

First off, I do not have a Master's Degree, but at one point in my life some men actually told me I was "too smart." One guy actually told me he really liked me, but he needed a woman he could "mold." (This broke my heart because I really, really liked him.)

However, it had been my experience that people who pretend to be something they're not, who mold themselves to meet somebody else's expectations, are not ever happy in the long run.

It wasn't until I decided that I would be happier by myself than with someone who didn't love me for who I really am that I met the man who was right for me.

If you've been with me for a while, you know that I struggled with shyness (and still do). I'm an avid reader (just finished Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens and dived into Mark Twain's The Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc).

I do like to socialize, but I tend to spend a lot of time in my head. I like to learn new things. I have a million opinions that I am compelled to express.

So I definitely appreciate your desire to attract a very specific type of man: A guy who enjoys the fact that you're intelligent, serene, and curious.

As for men wanting women to be utterly dependent on them: Yes, some men do. The wrong men do. Let me tell you, a widower I know has recently started dating again. He is not interested in the women who come bearing casseroles. He is attracted to smart women his own age he can hold a conversation with (the one he likes now is in thegym at 5AM, has her own money, and is not available every weekend because she has a second house she spends time at in another state).

The idea that you're being too picky is wrong. The idea that you should be baking cakes and muffins is wrong. Think of it this way:If a guy constantly showed up at y our house bearing little trinkets,would you appreciate it, or would you think, "What's wrong with this guy?"

It's been my experience that the guys who constantly send flowers, buy expensive jewelry for women they don't know well are not lucky in love, and the same goes for women who give too much to men.

As for the advice to change your personality, I cannot think of worse advice. The message is that you've accomplished a great deal (education, position, possessions) in your life, but it doesn't mean much when you haven't landed some man.

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

I truly believe on this planet there exists a man who would be thrilled to be with an accomplished, smart woman like you. A man who will be grateful he doesn't have to do all the thinking all the time, that he truly has a partner he loves, who loves him, and who "has his back."

The question is: Do you truly want a partner who treats you as an equal? Would you consider him less of a man if he weren't somewhat turned off by your accomplishments?

(I'm just asking. I'm not suggesting it's true of you.)

I surely do not recommend you date a man who mistreats you in any way. You may have been shocked to have been treated badly by the Christian, but Christians come in different stripes. There are the "Treat others as you would have them treat you" Christians and there are the "Wives, submit to your husbands in all things" Christians. And there are the "We hate everyone who isn't like us" Christians.

I happen to be a Christian and choose to hang around with the "Treat others..." crowd.

If you're going to meet a man at church, choose wisely. Remember that some men are attracted to church because they think it's an ideal place to meet a deferential woman who won't expect much. Remember also that when you go to church, people are on their best behavior.

As for my method, it's not based on any religion, although Norman Vincent Peale wrote of the Law of Attraction from a Christian perspective in "The Power of Positive Thinking."

By all means, know the qualities you want in a man. "Feel" yourself in that relationship. Know your own good qualities. Treat yourself as the most wonderful man in the world would treat you: Where would you go together? What would you do? How would his hand feel in yours?

This is the method that worked for me. Critics (who haven't tried it) snipe that the Law of Attraction is wishful thinking. It is not.

It requires discipline to bring that "relationship" to mind before you put your feet on the floor in the morning and before you drop off to sleep at night. It takes effort to fill in the details.

You said, "I tend to chase guys as I realise something about them that I don't like."

Yes, that is a huge statement. I suspect two forces are working in your life right now: Your desire to marry and your desire not to marry.

I strongly recommend you sit yourself down and ask yourself what exactly you fear about marriage. (Your fears are normal, by the way, but they can be overcome.) Is it boredom, childbirth, negotiating a career and motherhood, being pressured to change your name?

If so, decide what you want out of YOUR marriage. Your marriage does not have to be like your parents' marriage, your next door neighbors' marriage,or anybody else's.

Visualize a marriage to a man who has similar values. Open yourself up to the possibility that he exists. In the meantime, limit time with people who make you feel "less" because you're not married (despite your accomplishments), or that imply you must change who you are to make yourself acceptable to men.

As for attracting the perfect man, remember a perfect man does not exist, but the perfect man for you does exist.