When I was a single mom, I kept asking myself “Why am I attracting so many liars?” Why am I not attracting Mr. Right? And only Mr. Wrong? The men we attract who are wrong for us at the time are not inherently wrong or bad. They are all teachers! Once I changed my perspective and saw everyone I had ever dated and everyone I was attracting as teachers, life completely changed.
Instead of trying to figure out why anyone does what they do, I decided I didn’t need to know why. It’s a waste of time. I’ve seen the Ben Affleck movie The Accountant several times for many reasons. The concept of grotesquely underestimating someone’s abilities and intellect because they don’t communicate in the way that we can understand them is so inspiring to me. I loved the way he interpreted the world with autism with no small talk, no “niceties” like we use, he doesn’t waste a single word or second, and I love that he kicks everyone’s ass and no one expects it. My favorite line of his was:
I don’t know why anyone does anything they do.
I wish I had learned this 20 years ago. I wish hadn’t spent so many times trying to decipher the motivations and reasons behind everyone else’s behavior. Now, I know it’s a deflecting behavior. You focus on everyone else because you don’t want to look inside yourself and work on that. Why would we find the ways we want to get better and work on improving? Such a buzz kill! Everything is everyone else’s fault, right? So much easier!
Back to dating
I was freshly divorced at age 32 with two kids. That’s definitely an eye-opener. I had no idea what fun was in store for me then. I didn’t date that much before my first husband. I “dated” (if you can call it that) a cute blonde drummer in high school who had band at the same time that I had orchestra class, and we had a glass window in between ur two rooms. I got my first kiss at a high school dance at age 14 when a Michael Jackson song came on, He was a genius at doing MJ moves and asked me to “stand up to see how tall I was”. He called me “legs” and wrote me notes. I was 5’10” as a freshman. I don’t know what happened to him. Nothing. I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16, so I’m sure “dating me” was really boring and not exactly what he wanted. I had a couple more dates in high school, but neither of them asked for a second date. One was Catholic and took me to this cool coffee shop down on the San Antonio Riverwalk, but he didn’t like the fact that I didn’t drink coffee and ordered Sprite. Let’s be real, he just didn’t like me. I had another date with a super tall cute boy who put his arm around me at the movies and then it fell asleep. That was really awkward. I was dying of embarrassment. He didn’t ask for a second date either. Shocking. I had a few dates in college I think, but I can’t remember them.
I met my first husband when I was 22. He was my first and only boyfriend, and I married him when I was 25. I had absolutely no business getting married at that stage in my intellectual and emotional intelligence. I had absolutely zero self-confidence and I had no communication skills. I was a master at passive-aggressiveness. He was Mr. Wrong. But, I got two awesome kids out of the deal, and lots of experiences, and I’d never change a single thing in my past. It made me who I am. All of it happened for me and made me stronger and wiser!
Back to dating at age 32 with two babies. I would look in the mirror and say to my reflection: “All I need is a boob job and liposuction and someone will want to marry me.”
OK, ladies, if you want a boob job and lipo, go for it. My boobs aren’t getting any perkier, and I still might do it at some point if I want to. The point is, I didn’t think anyone would want to marry me unless I had plastic surgery. Therein lies the problem. If you think you need to be different than you actually ARE, then you will attract teachers who think the same.
And boy, did I ever!
I could spend hours and hours and hours typing out story after story about each teacher I attracted before John, but it was basically the same dude, different name. Cute, funny, clever, always said the right things, rarely did the right things.
How do you stop attracting the same guy different name? The answer is in the mirror. I kept attracting pretenders because I kept sending in my “representative” as Marshall Sylver calls it. When I first met someone I sent in the person that I thought he would like. I wasn’t intentionally being deceitful, I just didn’t know myself. I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t love myself. I didn’t have the confidence to show the real me. I main focus was to be wanted, to be liked, to be accepted. I was Julia Roberts in The Runaway Bride. I never ran away from weddings, but I always did whatever they wanted to do! I had no idea how I liked my eggs! I never thought to ask myself. Turns out I like them every single way except poached.
My self-confidence came little by little as I did the work. I got to know myself. What do I like? What makes me feel really good? What things can I do that make me feel amazing about myself? What kind of things could I say to my reflection in the mirror? Just look at everything as an experiment. If I could say a few nice things to myself in the mirror, what could happen? I practiced quieting that inner bitch always telling me I’m fat and that no one will want to marry me with two small kids. I gradually started telling the truth. I wrote in my journal every day. That’s why I created my own journal for anyone who wants to try the things I did and wrote that helped me eventually find true love.
I took that whole “focus on gratitude” (that you may think is bullsh*t and so passe) very seriously. I wrote religiously every morning what I was grateful for. I stopped doing that for a few years after I met John. We always call it “when we met” even though we knew each other the whole time. When we actually came together, it was as if he saw me as a different person he didn’t know. That’s because I was a different person.
We just started writing daily gratitude again last year and I love the mornings again.
You’re on a winning streak!
I wrote daily successes each morning, so I could focus on what was going RIGHT. I love Charlie Rocket who coined the phrase “You’re on a winning streak!” Focus on your wins and you keep finding more wins!
You will always find what you actively seek.
Personal development and increasing my self-worth and self-confidence is a lifetime activity. It’s never achieved. You never cross the finish line. It’s like getting into great shape and then quitting the gym. I did that. I got in the best shape of my life at age 40, and then I let stress and the unknown and my husbands’ sicknesses and fear overtake my thoughts. Once your thoughts are overcome with fear, net come your actions. I poured an extra cocktail at night. I watched one more episode on Netflix, I didn’t go to sleep as early I should have, then I was too tired and hungover to go workout in the morning. Then that starts the whole next day off on the wrong foot. I didn’t work out, I didn’t go to bed on time, I had one too many drinks. I hated myself. There. There’s the lack of self worth again. And 15 pounds I didn’t want. I have to exercise and I have to read, and I can’t drink too much if I want to feel good. If I want to keep confident thoughts, it requires doing something different than you did yesterday!. That inner bitch can only be quieted when you make a promise to yourself and you do it. If you want to change, you have to change your morning routine. I created morning rituals and there’s a free worksheet I you’d like to download it. I just posted a quote on social media from one of my mentors Andy Frisella, and I urge you to follow him and sign up for his emails. He said “Carpe Noctem. Because seizing the day starts the night before.” Wow is that ever true.
To stop attracting all the wrong men for me and attract Mr. Right, I had to keep my promises and I had to do the things that I knew were good for me, good for my health (yoga, hiking), good for my mind (read, skip the TV), good for my soul (pray, meditate), good for my environment (organize one closet).
I had to get into a practice of self-care so that I developed the belief that I deserved to be taken care of.
I had to tell the truth and be vulnerable. If you want to attract someone you can trust, you have to tell the truth about yourself.
All the good, bad, and ugly truths. All of it. Not just the good parts. You know that all the “good” parts and all the “bad” parts are the same wonderful person. Different sides of the same coin! Don’t you want your future husband to tell you everything? And be able to be honest about his past and his fears and his short-comings? I don’t really believe in short-comings. We have strengths and things we’d like to strengthen is all. As soon as we discover things we’d like to strengthen, then we can do just that! If you want someone who’s honest, you just have to be honest. There’s no other way around it. Building self-worth and self-confidence is one little baby step at a time. I just chose a few things a day. You could start with 10 minutes. I wrote daily gratitude for everything that I had, so I didn’t focus on what I didn’t have. Just three things and then you’re done! Move my body how I want to, and read and read and read and read. I have list of most of the incredible books I read in the back of my upcoming book, and I will post it here on my page as well. Working on all these things will help you to stop attracting Mr. Wrong!
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Wishing you lots of love!