27 May 09

Don’t Use My Sweater Like a Towel: Part 5 – Chapter 6

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See below for part 1-4…

A good way to get beyond the advice gurus: begin with a healthy belief in yourself. It is important to always follow your heart and gut, and much more important to do what feels right to you than to do what the media, or other people tell you to do. Throughout the course of my own life’s discovery process, I have mopped up a myriad of tears with countless rolls of Green Forest toilet paper seeking to find my own answers; I have also laughed at myself and enjoyed the journey. We all have the answers inside ourselves, but sometimes it’s hard to sift through the internal and external static to find them. For me the journey has made me the person I am. I embrace it as a positive. What I realize is that it’s more about the journey than the end result. In life, and in relationships, we are constantly learning, changing and evolving. Every end is a new beginning, and when the door hits you on the butt on the way out, a new one will open.

Most of the dating books on today’s market are more concerned with how we behave than what kind of person we are. Why base a relationship on behavior that is not your own? Why pretend to be someone you are not? How long will you be able to keep up a charade like that? And what will happen when you finally start being yourself?

These are the questions the dating books do not answer. As I combed through countless pages of advice, it became even more evident that the answer is to not play by someone else’s “rules,” but truthfully follow your own heart and do what feels right for you. That is my advice. And debunking some of the more outrageous myths about “what men want,” or “how to be a great date,” is an ideal place to start.

In How To Make A Man Fall In Love With You, Tracy Cabot, Ph.D. outlines what she calls “The Love Plan.” It is an approach that she swears by, her method is to attract and keep love. The cover of the book even claims it is “The Fail Proof, Fool Proof Method!” How do you fail proof and fool proof love? She goes on to say that it has worked for her and “everyone else who has tried it.” You cannot force love or attraction.

I read on though I was annoyed that Dr. Cabot would suggest “a plan,” a map for love. While Dr. Cabot did make some good points, much of her plan consists of manipulation and pretense – trying to elicit certain reactions by using what she calls “spells” and positive reinforcement. That feels like game playing to me. I closed the book when I came to the section “Why Indifference Works.” More games. Life is complex. It cannot be broken down to simple games of checkers or chess. Love and life do not fit into black and white squares.

Dr. Cabot’s book is in complete contrast to one I found that offered practical, common-sense advice for women, The Real Rules: How to Find the Right Man for the Real You, by Barbara De Angelis, Ph. D. Real Rule 4 is “Don’t play games.” She goes onto say, “The dictionary defines the word game as a form of play, or sport, a scheme, plan or trick ” When love becomes a game, everybody loses.” No one wants to be tricked into love.

To be continued.

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About Jennifer Kelton

Jennifer KeltonI did not wake up one morning and say “hey I think I’d like a man use my sweater like a towel, write a candid dating book, become a dating expert, the CEO and founder of a social dating site and have three blogs.”

All of this has happened in a slow burn and here I am. The good, the bad, the mistakes, way too many tears shed to count, lots of wine and oh my goodness a huge learning curve that leaves me much of the time saying, “I’m sorry but this is all new to me.”

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