The Singles Cafe
Putting Your Best Foot Forward
We must remember that this is it! Someday is now! No time to mess around. Life is too short. Live in the present.
Experience the empowering feeling of allowing yourself the freedom to be who you need to be in your next relationship. . . right now. You have already experienced the past. Want more of that? Continue to focus on it and you will not be disappointed.
We must create a future worth living into. The old way of being in a relationship isn't good enough in the '90's. We must invent the kind of relationship we want, then go about devoting our time and energy to making it happen. It will happen when we care enough to give ourselves the very best of everything.
This includes giving yourself time if you are just coming out of a relationship that didn't work. Welcome to living solo! They say, "Time heals all wounds" and you must do the things necessary for the healing of the hurt to occur. Work on you.
Every man needs to love himself unconditionally to be able to pass it on. You know you better than anyone. Ask yourself: "Who would I have to become to be the kind of person I would enjoy being with for the rest of my life?"
Spend some prayerful moments thanking God for the choice to choose the courage to become that person. Then, do what needs to be done.
Okay. So, you have been attracted to a real sweetheart and you are about to embark on 'Destination Unknown,' often called the first date. What to do? Naturally we men want to put our best foot forward. We have a thing about being really cool on the first date. Often we withhold who we really are, afraid that if she knew the truth about us, she would very quickly distance herself from us.
This is why we must learn to communicate more effectively how we feel to our partner. Women love men who are sensitive to their needs; who demonstrate that they care; who communicate understanding by listening to what she says (and when we are unclear about what she says. . . we ask questions - this shows we are really listening); and most of all, women love men who threat them with respect.
You show up as Mr. Clean; shoes shined, clean shaven, a dash of cologne and looking sharp. Most people are attracted to someone who is well groomed however, there is more to it than that. What do you communicate from your heart? Do you say what you feel needs to be said in a loving way?
Make good eye contact. This shows you are paying attention. It also suggests someone who is self-confident. Men whose eyes drift are, right or wrong, thought to be uncertain of themselves. To a woman, this is a red flag.
Have meaningful conversations about things that count. Watch your words. Remember, you cannot un-ring a bell. Once out there, words can be loving or deadly. Be brave enough to allow yourself to be vulnerable; to reveal those bits and pieces of yourself that communicate the real you. This does not mean boring her with your sordid past. . . only the relevant truth; what's real for you in this relationship.
Part of the problem of dating is what M. Scott Peck, in his book "A Road Less Traveled" calls the 'romantic myth.' We try so hard, early in the relationship to always be at our best, then when we are several months into the relationship, we feel as though we have reached our goal, we slack off and that's when things can begin to slowly fall apart.
You may hear her say, "You were so sensitive and caring when we were first dating. What's happened to that wonderful man that swept me off my feet?" Or she may think it and never say it, leaving you to wonder, "What's wrong?"
Listen carefully. Relationships are a bit of a puzzle for most men anyway. When a man and a woman finally get together, the glaring differences show up.
Dr. John Gray, Ph.D., author of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" says we must learn to recognize and understand these differences before we can effectively be ourselves in the relationship.
Only and always do your best. All the time. Not only when in pursuit. Not only when it's broken and needs to be fixed. Every day and every minute. Do what works. If you send thoughtful greeting cards, leave love notes and, for no reason, give her an occasional flower. . . continue that process. Women love romance. It's called. . . 'follow-through.' Keep on doing what works.
God wants what is best for you. You deserve only the best of everything. And it takes care and attention to your own wants and needs first, for you to be able to take on the responsibility of a committed, healthy love relationship.
Be yourself. . . right now! How sad to try to be someone you think someone else thinks you should be. It is not possible. Be the real you all the time.
Demonstrate your own authenticity. When you do, you never have to worry that six months down the road, she is going to be disappointed because she thinks the man she is now with is not the person she fell in love with.
In my "Relationship Enrichment LoveShops," single women often complain that men don't communicate their feelings. Now you know. Do that. Take a clue. Women have a desire to know the real you. Don't withhold yourself. Be who you are and if you don't like who you are, steer clear of a committed relationship for a while until you can learn to love yourself. You cannot deliver from an empty wagon. You must have love for yourself to be able to give the love your partner so richly deserves.
Men must learn to reveal ourselves to others. Let them be sure of who you are. It takes constant attention to detail. Be unto others as you would have them be unto you. Allow no miscommunication that would allow for misunderstandings. There is nothing inherently wrong with putting your best foot forward on the first date and the dates that follow unless you are only being nice for a while to get what you want. That isn't good enough. You must take care to assure her that your best foot forward is connected to the real you.
©MCMXCIX Larry James. Reprinted with permission. ~ This article is adapted from Larry's books,
"LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing,"
"How to Really Love the One You're With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship"
and "Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers." (Career Assurance Press).
Author Larry James is also a professional speaker. He presents "Relationship Enrichment LoveShops" nationally for singles and couples.
Larry is on staff with Dr. John Gray, Ph.D.For information or to order a personally autographed book call: 800 725-9223.
CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695,
Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695.
See a Review of Larry's books:
How to Really Love the One You're with!:
Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship
LoveNotes for Lovers:
Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing
Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers:
The Importance of Great Sexual Communication and Other Essentials for Extraordinary Hot Sex