A comment from one of our readers, Jim, on my last post got me thinking about the whole idea of scarcity, as in all of the good men are taken. As Jim points out, there are many educated, responsible, interesting men out there that are complaining about the same thing – the lack of available women. So how can it be that both sides are feeling the same, particularly when the statistics show that nearly half (45%) of the U.S. population over age 18 are single, with this group being roughly split with 53% being female and 47% being male (so single men have a slight advantage). But that's still nearly 48 million single men in the U.S. alone. So why do so many of us have so much trouble finding just one?
It got me thinking back to when my husband and I were first dating years ago. We both had many single friends and we thought it would be great to play a little matchmaker and see if we couldn't help some of them find love with each other just like we had found. After all, they were attractive, successful and single, and most, if not all, were tired of being solo. And they were all going to all the same types of places looking for the same thing – to meet someone who they might be interested in having a relationship with that might eventually lead to marriage.
I really thought it would be easy to match up my single girlfriends – after all, these were women who consistently complained about never finding any good men! Here I had a guy with a plethora of great bachelor friends, all of them great choices. Getting them together should be pretty simply, right? Well, as we found out, apparently not. But that was before I understood the phenomenon that I would begin to see happen over and over again as I met more and more single women AND men.
We'd typically invite a few of these respective friends over to our place for a group get together so there would be no pressure. After they would meet and hang out together for a while in this comfortable, safe, group setting, we would always want to know what they thought. And surprisingly, the answer was pretty much the same from both the men and the women - he's not my type, she's not my type. They just didn't feel that initial attraction, those sparks, that WOW factor. This came from both groups! And that was the irony.
I realized that this was the single biggest factor that was keeping them all in the same situation as they've always been – single. Digging deeper, we found that both groups had their long list of must-haves, with the WOW factor being at the top of the list. And both groups were becoming more and more close-minded with a stricter must-have list all the time.
You see, what we soon realized is that our friends were holding out for this unrealistic, fantasy-like chemistry that they couldn't even define – but they believed they would know it when they saw it. They didn't realize that, while being relatively attracted to your potential mate is important, there are many more important things that will determine if you will be happy in a long term relationship or not. Like how you he treats you, how he cares about you, how you care about him. Fireworks and chemistry both fade over time, whereas treating each other with kindness and respect, caring about each other, and sharing the same values and goals will build a long lasting love like you wouldn't believe. Instead of fading with time, this kind of true love just gets better and better.
So how do we find all of these available men?
It begins with taking a really good look at ourselves. What are we really being picky about, and are we being picky about the right things?
While we are beautiful, radiant, confident women who deserve nothing less than a man who is available to commit to us, available to be in a relationship with us, and treats us with that same love and respect we have for ourselves, we also need to be realistic. How he treats us should be the number one thing we are paying attention to. It needs to be. Sure we need to be attracted to him. But before we decide to dismiss him simply because our chemistry indicator isn't off the charts the first time we meet him, we need to consider that someone may also be dismissing us in this same manner. Wouldn't we want more than that kind of surface dismissal? Wouldn't we want someone to give us a chance to get to know them and for them to find out more about who we really are and what we really have to offer them?
The truth is that there are some really great guys out there that are a bit nervous on the first date, might stammer a bit, or might have trouble carrying on a conversation the entire night without any uncomfortable silences. But once you get to know him, things will get better and better. Once he feels comfortable telling you about his hobby, of say, comic book collecting, and you let him know that it's OK with you, things will start to flow and a real connection can build.
If you tend to reject a man very quickly based on superficial qualities, or some small thing that can be overlooked, think about how you would feel if you went out on a date and a guy rejected you because he didn't like the dress that you wore or he thought you weren't interesting enough. You'd think he was making a big mistake, and the truth is he would be making a big mistake. But so are you if you reject a guy for any similarly small reasons.
When we turn the tables on ourselves, it really is that simple. It's about really giving someone a chance. Holding off judgment until we've actually had a chance to get to know someone more than just that initial impression. Getting to know who someone really is and what they're really like. How they treat us.
We're expecting them to get to know the real us, so isn't it time we gave them the same chance?
What do you think? Have you really given all of the available men that you've met a fair chance? Or have you dismissed some because of surface reasons like an odd hobby, lack of a full head of hair or initial awkwardness? Tell us about it in the comments!