How to Spot Your Future Husband Faster

How to Spot Your Future Husband FasterWhat are the chances your future husband is trying to meet you online?

One study suggests that it could be as high as 33%.[1]

(Other estimates are more conservative at 5% to 25%, so keep your eyes open in the real world, too. If he’s not online, he’s likely to be working at the same place you work or hanging out with mutual friends.)

But, if your future husband is online, how in the world are you going to find him? Have you seen all the potential matches out there? There are too many to sort through.

Dating sites can’t do the work for you. They can suggest matches but can’t predict chemistry. There are too many variables to consider.

Is your ideal partner near your age, or is he just outside of your ideal age range? Does he live within 30 miles of you, or does he live across the country? Does the camera love him, or will you pass over him because his profile pic is unflattering? Will you message him back, or will you ignore him because he can’t spell?

The human mind isn’t built to cope with questions like that.

Worse yet, if you consistently pick the wrong guys, you’ll waste your time on endless messaging and fruitless dates. You’ll become discouraged, frustrated, and sick of trying. Maybe the day you let your online dating membership expire is the day he tries to get in contact with you.

Luckily, your brain has a friend that knows exactly what to do.

Ever know something “in your gut”?

That’s not just a figure of speech.

You have two systems for making decisions. They’re called, quite cleverly, System 1 and System 2. (Seriously.)

System 1 is your gut or intuition. It’s what helps you make quick decisions, like whether to go for the chicken salad or double cheeseburger. You don’t have to think. You just feel the right answer.

Unfortunately, the “right” answer may actually be wrong, and that’s where System 2 comes in.

System 2 is your rational brain. The educational system taught you that System 2 is the only correct way to make a decision. Without reason, logic, and facts, you’re just guessing.

System 2 oversees our gut decisions. Perhaps your gut is urging you to move in with your boyfriend, but you write down a list of pros and cons to determine whether it’s really a good idea or not.

As great as it sounds, System 2 is remarkably bad at picking romantic partners for us.

You meet someone who is perfect on paper in every way. He’s exactly the sort of man you always said you wanted. But you’re not interested in the slightest. Your head tells you to go out with him, but your gut says, “I’ve got better plans. Pajamas. Netflix. Ice cream.”

Your gut is louder than your brain. Once it decides, its decision sticks.

So what does all that mean for online dating? And how does it help you find the perfect guy faster?

Continue reading

When He Doesn’t Want All the Love You Have to Give

When He Doesn't Want Your LoveThere’s nothing worse than knowing you have a big heart…

A heart that any man would be privileged to cherish…

And yet feeling that men don’t want your love.

If you’ve ever felt like that, let me share with you a story I sometimes tell my clients.

You’re standing in a crowded mall, holding a bunch of the most beautiful long-stemmed red roses.

Your task is to hand out each and every one of these roses to passers-by.

At first, no one will even stop for you. They keep their heads down and walk past quickly, like you’re just another salesperson trying to get something from them.

It feels humiliating to put yourself on display like this, just a woman with a beautiful gift no one wants. You feel vulnerable.

But you’re not leaving until you’ve done the job, so you start to think.

You realize you can get people to stop by making eye contact with them. So you start looking out at the sea of people, searching for friendly faces. If you catch someone’s eye, you wink conspiratorially and hand out a rose with a smile. You give away your first few flowers, and you’re ecstatic.

But soon you notice that the men are still avoiding you. Why? Is it because roses are a symbol of romantic love?

You set your sights on trying to get a man to take one of your flowers. At last you manage to shove one into a man’s hand, but as he walks away he quickly drops it into a trash bin.

That’s no way to treat a gift from your heart!

By the time you’re finished, you feel drained and bruised. Facing that much rejection made you angry. You don’t know why so few people would take your gift, but a little voice inside your head is whispering that the problem was you. Maybe if you looked different, everyone would have wanted your roses.

This little story is a metaphor for how it feels to search for love.

You have a heart full of love, and you keep trying to give that love away.

But no one will take it. Men either assume you’re trying to get something from them, or they value your love so little they drop it in the trash when they think you’re not looking.

It’s not easy finding someone who’ll accept all the love you have to offer. Which is insane, because love is one of the most beautiful gifts anyone can give.

It’s unfortunate we live in a world where there are no free gifts. Everything comes with strings attached. That free sample at the cosmetics counter isn’t proof of the company’s generosity; it’s a taster designed to get you to buy the full-sized product.

So no wonder men look askance at your offer of love. They wonder what you’re “selling.” They don’t realize the value of what you have to offer.

How do you get men to be open to all the love you have to share? Here are 3 ideas.  Continue reading

The SAP Method for Dealing with Emotional Triggers

Dealing with Emotional TriggersEvery time Bryan and Jill go to her parents’ house, they have a huge argument. One that goes nuclear. And Bryan thinks he knows why.

“Jill gets weird around her family,” he says. “It’s like she’s a different person. She picks on every little thing I say. Normally I’m a pretty tolerant guy, but a weekend with her parents is enough to make me wonder why I’m with her.”

Samantha has a different problem. Every time she brings up the possibility of her boyfriend changing jobs, he lashes out at her.

She says, “I know he hates where he’s working. I’d totally support him if he wanted to look for something else. But I can’t even bring up the topic around him. It’s like he turns on me.”

What’s going on?

Hidden deep within every single one of us are emotional tripwires, also known as triggers.

If someone stumbles across that tripwire, they’d better duck, because an emotional explosion is on its way.

Maybe you’ve noticed it in past relationships. You say something innocent, and he goes ballistic. His reaction is totally out of proportion. And to be frank, it’s kind of scary. You wouldn’t have pegged him for being so irrational.

But we all have triggers. They’re left over from the past.

For Jill, the company of her family was a trigger. She grew up in a household where fighting was the norm. Even though, as an adult, she learned better ways to handle conflict, being back home activated those old pathways. When Bryan made a light-hearted comment, she perceived it as an attack—just as her siblings used to try to get her to react.

Samantha didn’t know why her boyfriend got triggered when she suggested changing jobs, but she could guess. His father was chronically unemployed, and he grew up listening to his parents argue about money. No wonder he overreacted at the idea of leaving a secure job.

Getting to know your own triggers—and the triggers of the man you love—is an essential investment in your long-term romantic future.

It’s tough to eliminate a trigger entirely, but you can “SAP” the energy from it until it’s barely noticeable. Here’s how.

S – Spot It

The quickest way to defuse an emotional overreaction is to name it. If you realize you’re being triggered, you can step back from the feelings before they escalate.  Continue reading

How to Save Your Relationship from His Children

how to have a relationship with a man who has childrenBecky thought she found the perfect guy.

There was only one problem:

His daughter hated her.

Becky told me she could understand—really, she could. From his daughter’s perspective, Becky was stealing away her dad. But that wasn’t Becky’s intention at all.

She respected the fact that her boyfriend was a father first and her partner second. She didn’t want to change anything. She just wanted to be given a chance. After all, she was young, fun and cool. Her sister’s kids liked her. What did she have to do to prove herself?

I hear from women in Becky’s situation a lot. Half of all women can expect to live with or marry a man with children.

Single dads have a lot going for them. Ideally, he made his mistakes in his first marriage, and now has a strong desire to get things right the next time around. He’s less self-centered than the average bachelor. You know up front whether he’ll make a good father by watching him with his kids.

But what you don’t know is how well his family unit will function with you in it.

In relationships where children aren’t involved, a man and a woman come together to create their own life. Both of them have an equal say in determining what that life will look like. They stand united against any forces that could tear them apart.

In relationships where children are involved, an outsider enters an already-established family unit. She’s expected to merge into established traditions seamlessly—or get blamed for wrecking things.

“I feel like a third wheel,” Becky told me. “When his daughter is with us for the weekend, she monopolizes him. If Jared and I happen to get a moment of peace together, she’ll find us and need her dad immediately for something. It’s like she wants him to choose between the two of us.”

She sighed. “Jared won’t talk to me about it, but I can tell it stresses him out. She’s asked him a couple of times not to invite me over when she’s there, but we’re talking about moving in together. She’ll have to get used to me.”

There’s nothing I would have loved more than to tell Becky about a simple and easy trick for getting her boyfriend’s daughter to like her. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Stepfamilies are tough to get right.

Relationships are hard enough, but when you bring children from a previous relationship into the mix, they get exponentially more difficult.

There is no easy answer. But there are 2 strategies that will help ease the transition to becoming a family.

Continue reading