I had an interesting email conversation with my friends a few days ago. I decided to (shamefully) admit that I had bought Dr.Phil’s self help book called “Love Smart” as a result of my recent failed dating experience. I told my friends that I had had enough, that I was obviously clueless about something regarding men and that it wouldn’t hurt to have new information. After all, the cumulative effect of a small change can be enormous over time.
My reason for the email was to get them involved in a book club where we could possibly discuss and implement Dr. Phil’s strategies. The overall response was “No, I don’t want to read that kind of thing,” but at the same time my friends decided to share tips and words of wisdom about what to do in the ever-difficult search for a good partner. One said “dress up and go out,” another said “put on lipstick and act confident,” and my favorite “In order to read a book, you have to stop revisiting old chapters.” All of the women involved in said email are single, so I may be excused if I admit having read all of that with a pinch of salt. It did get me to wonder though.
Obviously, admitting to seeking out help for creating a relationship is something that I feel is associated with stigma. Admitting it out loud to friends was hard because I know that it in many ways makes me sound desperate. I am sure that if guys were to hear me say that I am reading “Love smart” they would run the other way. “Oh my GOD, this woman can not play it cool!!” But I have to wonder why? Why does it make me, or us, desperate when we seek out help? When I told my friends I got the sense that I had definitely done something wrong. “I don’t read that kind of book.” Hon, sometimes a little piece of information goes a long, long way.
I am 33 years old and single. Most of the guys I have met so far have been either a) emotionally unavailable or b) in another country (in which case also see a)). I have probably sought these guys out because I didn’t have enough self-confidence to tell them to shove off or didn’t really want a relationship anyway. I have had crushes, fallen in love, yearned for connection and crashed and burned so many times that I feel like an overfried marshmallow. So now I find myself stable for the first time in my life and I don’t want to continue on this rollercoaster ride called “emotional f*ckw*t dating”. So I turn to a well-know resource, aka Dr. Phil, see what he has to contribute and see if it helps. For me, it’s not out of desperation. It’s a matter of getting better acquainted with the other side.
It was obvious to me after that email conversation that my friends and I are on the same page. We are not desperate to have a guy in our life, as we are able to pay our own bills and screw in our own light bulbs. But we would like to have someone special, that can give us a great big hug when life’s little heart aches are too hard to ignore. I am pretty sure many of us single ladies (and guys) are the same. It was also clear to me that the advice we have received so far either hasn’t worked or we are not following it. So why does it make me desperate to seek out new information? There is a saying that goes that the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results each time. I’ve been doing the same thing over and over again and invariably somewhere I go wrong. So I have to change.
So for those of you who also “shamefully” buy the books on how to be better in love I say “Good for you”. You are being honest with yourselves and admitting that you want to improve your life in this area. To me it shows that you are brave, curious and freakin’ awesome. Good luck!