Monday, November 30, 2009

Book Review: Don't Ever Call Me, Ma'am!

I never get it when people, particularly women, worry about their age.

I don’t understand why they consider themselves less attractive or less valuable or less anything as they get older. It’s been my experience that people with a few years under their belts are funny, smart, and interesting (well, usually).

So when a book comes along to assure me that life begins at 40, I’m like, “No kidding.” You’re preaching to the choir.

But then I read my mail. I get email from women who tell me they might as well have dropped dead at 40. Men don’t want them. Employers don’t want them. The only person who does want them is the plastic surgeon.

(Again, personal experience shows me something else. A good friend, who’s 44 with two children, attracts a ridiculous number of men ranging in age from 20 to 60. Two years ago, she set her sights on a certain position in a certain location - and got it. Still has it, too.)

But if you’re a woman who fears 40, I do recommend Linda Franklin’s Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am! The Real Cougar Handbook. The first Canadian woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, the woman’s got a winning attitude whether she’s writing about success or relationships.

Here’s Franklin’s take on men:

"While it may be true that more women over 40 are enjoying relationships with younger men, they aren’t putting themselves on the auction block to do it. Don’t believe for a minute that a Real Cougar is a lonely predator skulking in dark bars preying on younger men. She is definitely not the cartoon character that too many make her out to be. Undoubtedly, this negative image was concocted by the overly testosteroned fantasy world of our male population. Let’s face it: Women are still the prime target for the good old boy’s double standard. And the only way we’re going to change that is to continue to excel doing it our way.”

The book includes a how-to chapter on dating and relationships, guest-written by dating coach and author Ronnie Ann Ryan (full disclosure: Ronnie’s a competitor of mine who’s now a friend). The book also features Franklin’s easy-to-follow advice on managing one’s finances and her success plan for achieving goals (with a very inspiring story about how one woman set out to become a best-selling author and became one). There’s also a chapter on sex, amusingly titled, “Sex Is Not a Job.”

Fore more information on Linda Franklin and Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am!, check out The Real Cougar Woman.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's Not True Love, It's Low Self-Esteem


I had a one-year relationship with a man that I instantly hit it off with from our first date. We dated for four months and then circumstances in his life, sleeping on his brother's couch led to me asking him to live with me. For our whole year together our relationship was as close to perfect .

But something changed out of the blue, where I felt he was not trusting me, just things he would say before I left for work, little jabs here and there when I was talking to my friends on computer. I am to this day still deeply in love with this man, but....

He started acting pulling away and at first I noticed and let it go, but played out at the end of our relationship that he was seeing someone else, and in an instant left me for her. Now the woman he left me for has nothing, no car, she works at McDonald's. At 40 years old she has not ever strived to work anywhere else to better herself. But he tells me that everything is perfect. I see him out at the same club that I go to, and they look like they are on a blind date that is not going well at all.

Meanwhile, I'm independent and have an excellent job. I even helped him get into the same place that I work and helped him get promoted. I have to see him every day at work since we broke up. I have spoken to him and let the way our relationship ended go, the lies he told, the act he played when he left, saying I broke his heart that I was showing "signs of cheating", but what floors me is that I have no one and did not cheat, and here he did and still to this day blames me for our breakup.

When I speak to him, he limits talking to me just here at work, changed his phone number after us being broken up 7 months, or he will talk thru email and that is it. We have been thru all the emotions and not speaking and speaking and then fighting with each other.

I know that I have to let go and have tried to date other people, but
the only person that is constantly on my mind is him. What is that? True love? I have thought about him every day, made sure that he knows that I will always be there for him, but his body language is like he still has feelings for me, but his words do not.

What else can I do to get this man out of my head and heart, I feel so
stuck and have been so unhappy since he left. I thought by now that I would have met someone else and been in love again. But, my heart still belongs to him.

Tell me what I should do.

-Stuck on Mr. Moochie

Dear Stuck-

I'm sorry you're in pain. I have been there, so I definitely feel for you.

That said, would you please read over your letter with fresh eyes? Certain things will hit you between the eyes:

-You invited this man into your home to get him off his brother's couch.

-He became insulting and distrusting of you, the woman who got him off his brother's couch (not to mention helped him get a job and a promotion).

-He cheated on you and left you for the other woman "in an instant."

-He is still involved with this woman, a 40-year-old hamburger slinger with a boatload of baggage.

The thing that baffles me most is that you still want him. Sure, you may have had a couple of cozy times together, but rub the sand out of your eyes, Girl. The guy is clearly not worthy of you.

You say he changed his number. Were you calling him? Why would you ever call him?

You say he will communicate via email. Why would you glance in this person's direction, let alone email him?

He is not worthy to shine your shoes, yet you persist in thinking of him, reminiscing about the old times.

How can you get over him? Well, for starters, stop thinking of him. If that doesn't work, think of him with his arm around his little burger slinger, she in her cap and oily uniform. This is the life he has chosen.

Think about what you would do if he ever came back to you. Could you trust him? Respect him? What does he have to offer you besides the clothes on his back?

From where I sit, you may have a good job, but you clearly don't value yourself enough or you never would have given this toad the time of day.

Your best bet is to work on your self-esteem. When you love yourself, you will stop being attracted to individuals who are clearly incapable of adding any value to your life whatsoever. You will make room for people who will love you, encourage you, and make your happiness a priority

Start by reading a book called "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay. You may be able to find it in your library or your local bookstore. You can definitely get it at Amazon.

I hate to repeat myself, but please understand this guy has no business being in your head and heart. Evict him.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Are Men More Likely to Be Jerks?

If you believe what you hear from the media, you might think so.

The December issue of First cited studies claiming that if a married woman becomes ill, her husband is 80% more likely to cheat on her or leave her. It made me wonder: Has anyone thought to do a study on the percent age of wives who leave or cheat on sick husbands?

We’ve been told over and over that the planet is loaded with substandard men, but there are some lovely, loyal, loving ones out there, too, and I fear they’re overlooked. And when someone finally notices them, they’re dismissed as weird or too nice. They just don’t fit the stereotype.

Substandard men do exist, of course. I once knew a girl who cut off her father after learning he’d had an affair while her mother died. I don’t blame her. But women can be jerks, too. I knew a wife who indulged in a series of romances after her husband went blind. A good friend of mine (a guy) had a friend who cared for his wife while she battled cancer; she dumped him for another man shortly after she recovered.

The media (TV shows, tabloids like Star and Us) pump us with stories about women done wrong, but in my experience, females are just as likely to cheat or to mistreat a spouse. Men don’t have a monopoly on bad behavior.

It’s dangerous to think otherwise. When we go about life believing that men are inherently less moral than we are, we lower our expectations. Some of us put up with the cheater because — what do you expect –men are hardwired to spread their seed wherever they can. We give the guy who walks out on his sick wife a pass because, well, he’s a guy. He’s not programmed to be a caregiver.

And then, others who want a relationship with a man avoid getting involved because they just can’t trust anyone with a Y chromosome (these are not the same women who are happily single and want to remain that way). Still others will get into a relationship with a guy and sabotage it to sideswipe disappointment.

I think it’s better to see men and women as people, to understand that some of us are capable and willing of treating others as we’d treat them, and to proceed accordingly.

Will the guy you’re dating run out on you if you become sick? It’s an excellent question and bears thinking about (because how many women rush into marriage without even discussing whether they and the bridegroom are even on the same page when it comes to having kids?).

Before you put your life in a man’s hands, get to know him.

See how he treats people, particularly elderly people.

Is he patient with them? Is he kind to them? If he’s got a grandfather in a nursing home, does he make time to visit him, or is he “too busy?” At family gatherings, does he help the old aunt to the table, or does he trip over her like a piece of furniture? Does he visit sick friends in the hospital, or does he shake his head and say, “That’s too bad,” and log on to Facebook.

Don’t get caught up in studies and statistics. Men tell you if they’re worth your time. They tell you exactly who they are.

Are you listening?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Younger Men Like Older Women

Ever feel that getting older makes you less attractive?

Well, who could blame you? That myth is foisted upon us by the media every day. (It keeps advertisers happy because it sells tons of product to make us feel better about ourselves.)

Yesterday's New York Times dispelled it in an article about younger men who pursue older women.

According to the article by Marcelle S. Fischler, many young men are eager to date more mature women for a variety of reasons. Some are into it for probably the wrong reason (older women are more sexually experienced; one lummox described them as "grateful"), but others, including one 27-year-old who is dating a 41-year-old mother of three teens, say they like older women simply because they're more mature.

The article also mentions a 28-year-old real estate project manager who says he'd be willing to date 8 out of 11 women (nearly old enough to be his mother) who attended an event for younger men who wanted to meet older women.

Fischler also cited a British study which found that 20% of men in their 20s and 22% of men in their 30s would date an older woman. That's about one in five, Ladies.

Monday, November 09, 2009

When a Woman Earns More, Her Man Aims to Please

Brian Alexander, the author of America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and Satisfaction, details his findings about sex and economics. He writes:
"As more and more women in the U.S. out earn the men in their lives, or become the sole breadwinners, men are trying to figure out how they fit into the relationship, including in the bedroom."

Alexander offers the example of a corrections officer who is married to an oncology nurse:

"...since she brings home much of the bacon, he wants to make sure he’s offering her some perks too. He leaves affectionate notes around the house for her and tries to keep the house tidy. And he wants to make sure he shines in one special area.

Since she is 'handling certain areas of the relationship' like making most of the money, he said, “you’ve got to handle your business.” By “business,” Hayes means sex. 'You’ve got to be creative. You’ve got to be good!'"

Clearly, we females must stop being afraid of success.

For the rest of the story, click here.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Stop Attracting Dysfunctional Men

If you keep attracting men who don't make you happy, check out Dating Coach Ronnie Ann Ryan's response to the writer who emailed to tell me she's tried everything (including vision boarding and employing the Law of Attraction -- which usually do the trick) but still winds up with guys who seem great, and then turn out to be dysfunctional or commitment-shy.

By the way, Ronnie is the author of Manifesting Mr. Right, and she manifested her very own Mr. Right after the age of forty. Now she helps other people (men, too) find the loves of their lives.

Check out Manifesting Mr. Right here.

(And if you think you have to be over 40 to benefit from Ronnie's guidance, you absolutely do not. Also, if you purchase Ronnie's book, I will get a cut, which will enable me to keep writing this blog.)

Here's Ronnie's response:

Dear Disillusioned,

Dating can be frustrating but just because you haven't
ended up in a committed relationship, doesn't mean
all the other men were a waste of time. There is
much to be learned from every relationship, even
if it doesn't last.

One thing you have learned is that you have a
habit of attracting men with similar flaws. That
can have several root causes.

1. You may be replaying family issues and patterns.
This is something therapists often point to and not
something a dating coach like myself can address.
But it might be worth looking at, just in case.

2. You may believe, for whatever reason, that true
love is not possible for you. Sometimes people have
a core belief buried deep within and this is what
manifests rather than your conscious desire. I
recommend asking yourself if you believe you can
find love and deserve to find love. Of course I
believe everyone deserves love, but I don't count
here. It's what's in your subconscious mind that
matters most.

3. If you are attracted to a certain type of man,
the bad news is they come with the same type of flaws.
You haven't told me about the kind of men you are
interested in so it's hard to say. But given my
experience as an over 40 dating coach, I can tell
you that men who are "interesting", exciting, and
have fast chemistry are most often not the long-term
type. Usually, they are "bad boys" who are famous for
a lack of commitment, or a variety of issues no matter
how much they make your heart flutter.

Based on this scenario, my advice is to think
back over all the men you have dated to notice
patterns. What did the men have in common regarding
attraction and their issues? Then make a list of the
personality characteristics (i.e. red flags) you
never want to see again. When you go back out there
to meet new men, check the list after getting home.
If you start to see any of your red flag list, move
on to save yourself the heart ache.

Almost all men will show their true colors right
from the start. For some reason, women tend to
think those things won't happen or simply discount
what the guy says about himself. I advise paying
close attention and using the first few dates to
observe a man objectively. Make sure the men you
date are worthy of you and pay attention to those
red flags. When they start waving -run!

Good men are out there, and people get married
every day no matter what their romantic history
is or age. Once you have figured a few things out,
get back out there to find the love you deserve.
The right man for you is out there. I found love after 40,
and I know you can too.

Ronnie Ann Ryan - The Over 40 Dating Coach
Author, Manifesting Mr. Right


It's Terry again, and I want to repeat very strongly one of Ronnie's excellent points:

"People get married every day, NO MATTER WHAT THEIR ROMANTIC HISTORY IS or age."

It's critical that you get this. If you can't believe you can succeed at something because you've never done it before, you won't. If you can't believe you'll ever lose weight, you'll give up the diet after a day or two. If you don't believe you'll ever find a decent job, guess what? You won't. If you believe that a happy relationship isn't in the cards for you, it won't be.

Believe that you are capable of attracting and keeping a happy relationship. It's not hocus-pocus. Faith moves mountains.

Go for it.