Ask Coach Mari: I Can't Maintain A Relationship and I'm Thinking of Settling

Dear Coach Mari:

I am a thirty year-old, attractive, well-read, financially secure single woman who can’t seem to find a mate.  Most of my sorority sisters are married, with children, and/or live-in lovers, or in promising relationships. I am so very, very tired of being the odd-woman out.   All I have is Boris, my cat of three years. In the past, I have had three  significant relationships that fell apart because I wasn’t willing to settle for what was being offered:  one guy overly attached to his ex-wife’s comings and goings, another guy more interested in my bank account than me, and my last relationship, a married guy that I regret ever spending time with.

I have met men at social functions, church, clubs, parties and cocktail events.  However, while I’m able to interest men, I don’t seem to be able to either sustain a relationship with a guy I like (I don’t know if I’m being utterly boring), or stop being so picky after I meet “kinda ok” guys.  I want to meet my Prince and fall madly in love and live happily ever after.  All I know is I’m losing confidence in my ability to ever meet that Prince and get married.  By this stage in my life, I figured I would be living happily in the suburbs in a home with a white picket fence, two children and driving the family van. At this point, I’m thinking of settling for the next guy who comes along, just to make my dream come true. But I swear I don’t want to do that.

Signed:  Tired of Waiting
Dear Tired of Waiting:

While this is nothing to cheer about, you’re in great company with millions of your female counterparts who, for one reason or another, haven’t been able to find that all elusive soul mate.  But, believe it or not, finding him isn’t as difficult as it first seems.  It’s gonna take work, but you’re already ahead of the game simply because you’re exploring various venues in an effort to meet men, instead of waiting for one to pop out of the sky and rescue you.  You’re also unconsciously using relationship coaching techniques that any good coach will encourage you to adopt:  scouting, sorting, screening and testing to be exact.

My first observation?  You showed great judgment in disconnecting from the three losers you had prior significant relationships with.  None of them were husband material.

Secondly, define what you’re looking for in a mate:  your requirements, needs and wants and, during the screening stage, concentrate on those men who best suit your requirements.  You could be using the right ammunition, but hunting the wrong guy.

Two things people notice when first meeting us are our appearance and attitude. You’re continuously meeting men so, obviously, your appearance, at first glance, is fine.  However, a defeatist, lonely, tired, needy, pressed, desperate attitude will drive any man away.  Most men are attracted to women who are confident, sure of themselves, interesting to talk to, slightly challenging, sexy, fun, have a great sense of humor and who have something in common with them.  You signed your letter, “Tired.”  And I believe you are, but a tired attitude is a defeatist attitude and not one you want to continue to cultivate.   Drop it like it’s radioactive hot.  Also, take an interest in whatever hobby, or activities the guy likes and make a concerted effort to find out about his interests.

 Lastly, when you settle for less, that’s exactly what you get: less enjoyment, less fun, less happiness, fewer memorable moments, and more dissatisfaction than you can even begin to imagine.   Settling eventually catches up with you and creates resentment in the long run.

Dating is an exhaustive subject, one that could readily fill a whole book.  I’ve given you a few things to contemplate. You might wish to find a relationship coach in your area who can assist you in better navigating the voyage to your Prince and rid you of that “tired” mind-set. 

            All best wishes on your journey.

                                             Coach Mari

Mari Lyles is one of the metropolitan D.C.’s area's leading Certified Life/ Relationship coaches. A graduate of two prestigious schools, Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC) and the international Relationship Coaching Institute (RCI), Mari turned fifteen years of counseling/mentoring talents into a satisfying career coaching women on life and dating and mating issues, based upon RCI's patented relationship program, "Conscious Dating," wherein women take power over their romantic lives.

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