In my last entry, I shared a little about my friend and former client, Shannon, a smart, spirited girl with a bit of bad luck when it came to the opposite sex. Meeting Shannon you would have thought she had everything it took to be totally irresistible to men, but her track record proved otherwise. After working with her for a few months, Shannon’s issue became quite clear; she was sabotaging herself! In lieu of developing a healthy and loving relationship with herself, Shannon spent most of her time tweaking her personality to satisfy the perceived needs and desires of her current flavor of the month. Once each prospective mate got wind of this trend, he was soon out the door, much to Shannon’s confusion.
If you didn’t read the prequel to this entry, you, too, may be puzzled as to the root of Shannon’s problem. Yet, many women miss out on this important love lesson: before you can be irresistible to men, you have to be irresistible to yourself! After figuring out the heart of Shannon’s romantic problem, we quickly got to work on the solution. Ironically, the first step towards finding love was for Shannon to quit dating completely and embrace her singleness instead.
I urged Shannon to take the time she once spent becoming each new crush’s “dream woman” and invest it in loving and nurturing herself. At first, it took a little prodding to re-adjust Shannon’s focus onto herself. So we started small. “What is your favorite part of the day?” I asked her. She thought for a minute and then answered, smiling, “My morning run. It totally relaxes me.” We did a little research and found a jogging club in her neighborhood. Not long after, Shannon was trotting and chatting three times a week with a new group of girlfriends.
Once we jogged Shannon’s ability to invest time in herself and her own interests, the rest of the work came quite easily. I suggested that, instead of her weekly date night, Shannon reserve a few Saturdays to romance herself: “Pick a place you’ve always wanted to go and treat yourself! The important part is to enjoy the time you reserve just for you.” Hesitant at first, within a few months, Shannon confided in me, “I don’t know how I’m going to go back to regular dating! I’m having so much fun doing my own thing!” It was at that moment that I knew she was finally ready to re-enter the dating pool.
I arranged a blind date with my good friend, Doug, a great guy with a weakness for strong women. Before Shannon embarked on her self-love boot camp, Doug was exactly the type of guy she would send running for the door. I was curious to see how the new and improved Shannon would fare on a first date; and the results were quite surprising! After three dates, Doug called me and gushed, “She’s a total blast to be with and sharp as a tack.” Yet, in a surprise turn of events, Shannon didn’t share the infatuation. “Honestly, Annie,” she shrugged, “I am having so much fun being single that I think I’ll probably keep the dating thing on hold.”
It’s been a while since I first met Shannon. We still meet to chat over coffee and, from time to time, I am able to enjoy the company of her charming and adoring boyfriend, Matt. Their love story is quite funny; they met in Shannon’s jogging club while she was taking her single sabbatical. It took several months of prodding on Matt’s part before Shannon finally agreed to go out with him. When I asked Matt what it was that drew him to Shannon in the first place, he immediately replied, “Her zest for life was infectious! She was a woman who knew what she wanted and I wouldn’t quit until she wanted me, too!” I couldn’t help but feel a bit proud that I had Shannon pegged all along: the secret to being irresistible to men was always in her hands. She had to find herself to find the One.
If you relate to Shannon’s story, you might do well to follow her lead, clear your schedule, and set aside some special time just for you. If it’s not jogging with friends, it may be something as simple as drawing a luxurious bath, lighting some candles, and relaxing to a few of your favorite tunes. Romance yourself first and you will soon find that a special guy will be waiting to do the job for you! But don’t forget, loving yourself shouldn’t end once you’re in a new relationship. You know Shannon’s secret to keeping the fire lit with Matt? “I always set aside a weekly date night just for myself!”
If you have a favorite spot or activity you like to save especially for yourself, help out your fellow single ladies and share it with us!
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