Tired of dating Mr Wrong instead of Mr. Right? Well, we’ve consulted Jane Atkinson, author of The Frog Whisperer, a 3 -Step Approach to Finding Lasting Love, to give some guidance for all the single ladies out there.
Here’s our interview with her…
Celebzter: What’s the biggest mistake a woman makes when searching for her ideal partner?
Jane: Most people dive right in without giving much thought to exactly what they are looking for and what they might need to do to get the results they want. They decide they want to date, throw a profile up on a dating website, and are disappointed several months and several short-term relationships later when they wind up single again. It’s frustrating!
We tend to go around in circles when we drag the same old baggage from relationship to relationship. If we stopped to prepare before diving into dating, we might be able to get some different results. A little strategy goes a long way!
My experience was that I kept saying I was open to love, when in fact for years (and I mean lots ‘o years) I was choosing men who were emotionally unavailable. When I dug a little deeper, I discovered that I was actually the one that was emotionally unavailable. Go figure! It took some work, but once I was able to move past it, I found lasting love.
Celebzter: What should traits should we be looking for?
Jane: Traits or characteristics are going to depend on us as individuals. For me, having been cheated on as a teenager, traits that were critical to me were truthfulness and integrity. You might seek honesty, intelligence, fun, spontaneous, etc. But it’s really a personal thing. For instance, if you like routine, spontaneous might be the last thing you are seeking.
Think about how you want to spend your time every day. If you’re big into fitness, wouldn’t it be great to find someone who you can go hiking and biking with? And be careful not to try and fit a square peg in a round hole (in this case couch potato). When you don’t have a fit, don’t wait for a couple of years to go by before you see the mismatch.
Celebzter: And what should we be avoiding?
Jane: Well, when we dig a little deeper than traits, we all have principles that guide our lives, our values. We want to avoid people with completely different values than ours. If you value family and friendships and your partner is a loner, then you might have some issues. If you value security and your partner spends money like there’s no tomorrow, there’s bound to be trouble.
Becoming more aware of our values, is a great step towards finding that perfect partner. And note, when I say perfect, I don’t mean a person who is flawless (obviously that’s not realistic) but someone who is a perfect fit for you.
We see often a values mismatch in broken celebrity relationships. Kim K. obviously didn’t share the same values as her husband of 72 days – from what little I saw on her tv show, that was a very obvious values mismatch.
And although we were rooting for her, it was no surprise that Katy Perry couldn’t hold it together with Russell Brand. When you live in a celebre-bubble, I think some of the basics of dating (like checking out people for who they really are) go out the window.
Celebzter: Where are the best places to find a guy?
Jane: I think online dating is the new singles bars. The advantages far outweigh the potential creep factor. You just have to go in with your eyes wide open and be safe about it. Nowadays a large percentage of marriages (mine included) started online. They have websites for just about every type of group possible (single parents, seniors, active people and different religions).
You can also get out in your community and do the things that you love to do. If you love to cook for instances, your perfect partner might very well be someone in a cooking class that you attend.
A lot of cities have singles adventure clubs. My friend Kara loves outdoorsy stuff. So she goes on ski trips, kayaking tours and all kinds of events at her local singles club.
Celebzter: And the worst?
Jane: Well, if you’re looking for a player, I guess hanging out in the bars might work for you. But I must say, those cougar bars are pretty atrocious. I think it’s also difficult to meet people at work. If it doesn’t work out then you have an awkward situation for a long period of time afterwards. So often this is when married people step outside their marriage for someone single in their office. I recommend that people run far far away from this type of romance as your relationship will always have an icky dark cloud over it.
Celebzter: Once we have found a great guy, how do we keep him?
Jane: Men just want to know that they have the ability to make you happy. So, do what it takes to be happy before and during your relationship! Most of the heavy lifting might come from you, but you can still recognize his role in your happiness. I’m not saying to make him responsible for it, but for you to allow him to have a part in it.
My husband knows that I love to play Scrabble and I’d been playing alone on my iPad for about 6 months when he bought a Scrabble game for me. Such a small thing, but because I’ve made myself acutely aware of what it takes to make me happy, it meant a lot.
When you are grateful for the small things that they do, like emptying the dishwasher, and are vocal about it, it helps keep your relationship in a positive space. If it’s all criticism and bickering, it’s just a matter of time before someone says “I’ve had enough of this”.
Celebzter: What are the things women should NEVER do?
Being with someone just for the sake of being with someone will not be fulfilling long term. Your perfect mate could be right around the corner but has no access to you because you are already involved. If you’re with someone who is not perfect, I’d encourage you drop them and go for the whole enchilada.
You can also get caught up in the money game. Marrying only for money is a recipe for long-term unhappiness. One of our friends, while in her early 20’s, married a guy twice her age and once she grew up and figured out that he was all cash and no character, she was out of there. Security is just not worth settling for someone who doesn’t value the same things as you.
I heard that The Millionaire Matchmaker had said that women should dumb it down to catch their Mr. Rich. Well, your perfect guy should love your intelligence as much as anything else. If someone is looking for an arm candy bimbo, then he’s likely to be a controlling jackass – run away, run quickly.
Celebzter: Sometimes dating gets exhausting, and women feel like they want to give up, what advice would you give to them?
Jane: I understand this question because I had this feeling myself, many times. And when I turned 40, I thought either I’m going to give up, or I’m going to get this right. That’s when I sat down and really took a hard look at what I wanted and mapped out a way to get it.
My advice is don’t keep doing the same things over and over and expect different results – that truly is the definition of insanity. When you stop and determine what it is that makes you happy and the type of values that your perfect partner will possess, you will be heading in the right direction.Stay focused on what you want and do not let negative situations or people dissuade you from your goal.
Celebzter: And lastly, do you know anyone great for me?
Jane: Of course, stop over for dinner on Friday and we’ll fix you up with our rich and handsome, single neighbor (ha ha)!!!!