I'm in my 30s and have a fun social life. My friends like me, and find me fun to be with. But my dating life has been a flop. I've had boyfriends, but these guys just seem to treat me like a play thing. I thought I could get along with my ex-boyfriends, but in the end, they left me for another woman, with lame reasons like "You're a really nice girl, and I'm sure you'll make a good wife to someone, but I really like this other girl".
All I want is a man I can settle down with, and who won't toy with my feelings. All my attempts to look for the One are not successful. At the last matchmaking party I went to, I ended up being approached by a man, who later admitted to me that he had a girlfriend. However, I've decided to stick around and give him a chance because I think that he's looking to break up with her. I feel that I don't have a lot of time left, as I'm not getting any younger.
Why do I seem to be attracting all the wrong men?
Firstly, I’d like you to view your past experiences as learning points and not mistakes. This will remove any feelings of hurt, guilt, insecurity and disappointment. Sometimes, to love is to risk not being loved in return but the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
Based on your experience, start by getting clear about who you are. Make an assessment of yourself; core values, beliefs, interests and aspirations for the future. You must know exactly what you bring to the table in your next relationship. By knowing who you are and what you stand for, you’re unlikely to be put in a situation where you’re made to compromise for something less.
Next, to avoid meeting the “same type of men”, make a list of the qualities that you find desirable in a man. Prioritize the values, interests and aspirations that you think are important in a healthy relationship. Be sure to leave room for things or qualities that you’re willing to give due consideration.
After all, you do understand that he comes with his own set of criteria too.
For example, would you be OK to consider him as a potential if he fulfils the top 3 criteria on your “wish list” but not all of them? I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase that sometimes, you don’t have to find the perfect man, but a man who’s perfect for you.
Once you have gained clarity on both fronts, tell your friends and/or people you trust to look out for your type of men. Be sure to inform them to only focus on what you want rather than what you don't want. This will help minimize mismatches.
Finally, I would recommend that you not put a deadline on finding "the one". That person could sometimes come in the form of a best friend whom you have overlooked all along or sometimes the person you're looking for may appear through a chanced meeting. The key is never to lose hope for what seems to us as bitter trials may be blessings in disguise.
Anisa Hassan is the owner and Managing Director of It’s Just Lunch (Singapore and Bangkok). For more information on how she can help you find “good men”, you can visit www.itsjustlunchsingapore.com and www.itsjustlunchbangkok.com
Have a problem with finding the right guy or girl for you? Tell us your problem at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll get Anisa to help you out. Title your email "Dating with Diva".