If you're going to be a successful dater (which means you have fun and meet good men), an essential tool is the ability to empathize with the men you meet. Empathy is not feeling sorry for someone. It's being able to put yourself in their shoes and understand their experience.
I believe that the only way women can truly do that with men is to hear their stories firsthand. In my years of coaching I have gathered thoughts, feelings and stories from men in their early 30s up to their 70s, and clear patterns have emerged.
Among those patterns is this: There are certain types of single women who grownup men looking for relationships hope NOT to meet.
In a previous article I outlined the six types of women who are a challenge for men to date. They are The Princess, The 18 Year Old, The Scaredy Cat, The Wow-Me, The Bitter Gal and the Sex Pot.
Based on the number and intensity of comments this article received, I think I hit a nerve! Believe me, I am SO not judging. There are parts of these types in all of us. During my many years of dating, I leaned toward the Scardey Cat with a whopping dose of 18 year old. (And those gals still appear from time to time after years of marriage!)
I know of what I speak, and I also know that this is hard to shake. But I'm going to try to help you do just that.
Before you get all "what about all the types of men who are this and that?!", please note: You will not find one instance of me saying that only women should work on themselves or that they should put up with jerky guys. Nowhere. But my job is to help women over 40 date successfully. So I speak to you; I help you understand and talk to men.
That does not mean men aren't in need of tune-ups. It just means that I leave helping the men to other experts.
Now we can move on. I'm going to shine a light on each of these "FemiTypes."
Today’s spotlight is on The Princess. Maybe she grew up as a princess, or maybe her “I deserve it” attitude comes from being burned too many times and she uses it as a shield or a test. Either way, she needs to see what a man will give her before she gives anything in return. And maybe she never gives at all.
Men are initially attracted to her because she appears confident and well-put together. (Men love confident women!) But Miss Princess can soon turn out to be demanding, high maintenance and, in the extreme, a variation of a gold digger.
Here's what "Norm" has to say about his experience dating a Princess:
“I was going out with a woman recently who I was very attracted to, but she stood on principle and did not want to call me. I called every time and it bothered me. And at the end of each date all I got was a quick, emotionless "thank you." But she still accepted more dates, so I thought maybe she needed time to feel comfortable with me.
For our third date I asked her where she would like to go, and she told me it was my job "since I was the man." So I asked her to go to a restaurant in her neighborhood for dinner. When I did I got complete silence. Apparently she didn't approve.
That date was our last date. I don't know what she wanted, but there was no way I was going to please that woman. And I saw no sign of her trying to please me…so I ran for the hills.”
Norm was turned off by her insistence on seemingly playing by “The Rules.” He just wanted to be able to please her and to have some indication that she returned his interest.
Instead, her inflexibility and lack of reciprocity left him feeling like a failure and like it was a one-way transaction. Guessing what would make her happy frustrated him, and he felt unappreciated. A grownup man looking for a relationship is not going to tolerate this. He won't last long with a Princess.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking….I do encourage you to let the man make the first move. But I also encourage you to let him know you're interested and let him know what he can do to make you happy. Once the ball gets rolling you absolutely should reciprocate with phone calls and date planning.
WHAT A COMPASSIONATE DATER DOES
Instead of holding on to the rules, the kind, grownup dater would take Norm’s cues, give him a call when he asked, and let him know what she’d like to do on the date. And when they had a great date, she’d let him know it made her happy and she appreciated whatever effort he made.
Grownup men are usually not chasers. They want to know how to make you happy and to be rewarded when they do. And when you like a guy, this should be quite simple to do, right?
So if you have a touch of The Princess, please, take off your crown, loosen up your rules, and don’t let great guys like Norm pass you by.
(If you haven't already, read my article about the Six FemTypes: What Dating is Like for Men (Oh…ya think you know?)
Bobbi Palmer is The Dating and Relationship Coach for Women over 40. She is not just a dating coach; she's a dating success story! Bobbi married for the first time at age 47 and enjoys a loving and fun relationship with her spectacular husband. Now she gives her expert advice and real compassion to help other women do what she did, using her proven and powerful 6-Step Find Hope and then Find Him program. Bobbi invites you to take her free eCourse, "The 7 Major Dating Mistakes Women over 40 Make in their Search for Love," at www.DateLikeaGrownup.com/over40.