I remember one day looking in the mirror and thinking: “Wow, when did I get old?” “Why do I look so tired?”
Now, I know aging is the natural progression of life, but it still stung. I felt like I was loosing control of my body and the premenopausal symptoms were playing havoc in my life.
Can you relate to any of this?
And here’s what happens next. When a woman is feeling old, unattractive, undesirable and flawed, she may jump into relationship mode with the first man that gives her attention without DATING him first.
Why? Because MEN DATE, WOMEN DON’T.
I learned this concept from Alison Armstrong and few other relationship coaches that I have had the pleasure of associating with.
This is when understanding gender differences becomes important. Here’s a way to think about men and women. Let’s assume men are hunters and women are gatherers.
Men (hunters) are single focused because that’s what it takes to kill a deer. They can only focus on one thing/concept/activity at a time in order to achieve results. This keeps men very much in the present with whatever is happening right in that moment.
Women (gatherers) have diffused awareness, which allows them to walk into a room and easily scan for what is going on. It also allows women to multi-task and maintain connections while doing other things.
As a hunter, a man always has a result to produce, even when dating. The result can be to make sure the woman (gatherer) gets to the restaurant without being stuck in traffic, then he needs to focus on ordering the food, then he needs to make sure the wine is good and so on. All of these actions require focused attention to ensure a good result since men hold themselves highly accountable.
Meanwhile, the gatherer is trying to establish connection by finding out if the man (hunter) enjoys the same things, notices the same things, trying to gather information about him. And if he is not responsive (which is highly likely to happen as a single focused person), women will sense a disconnect and think he’s disinterested.
For men, dating is exactly what the word means…to have a social engagement with a person of the opposite sex.
For women, dating is… the pursuit of commitment.
This makes it easier for men to date more than one person at a time, because he gets the definition of dating. When women date, it can feel they are having a relationship, even early on, because as gatherers, they are designed to be the glue of a relationship, to keep the family together. So dating other men can make women feel disloyal, considering her definition of dating.
A man can take all of these single focused moments (dates) and allow for a natural unfolding to happen to see how things are developing. And if it feels great, he’ll just keep going until it leads to forever. Now, he can do this because a man can REPRODUCE FOREVER, where as women have REPRODUCTIVE LIMITS.
Somewhere between the ages of 27 and 29 women’s eggs degrade. Then by the time women are about 38 years old, the eggs are not worth harvesting. And as women get closer to premenopausal their body begins to shift, which can make women feel like they are loosing their vitality.
This means that TIME occurs differently for women than for men. A woman can easily feel she is wasting time with him if the dating doesn’t progress towards a relationship. And this frustration can affect her demeanor, her joie de vivre where she becomes an interrogator (behavior that is motivated by an emotional urgency) instead of a dialoguer.
Unfortunately most men are not even aware that women have this timeline.
Can see how there can be misunderstandings?
I shared all of this with because when you have understanding, you have freedom, which gives you the opportunity to be liberated from scarcity mindset to abundant mindset.
Based on my personal experience over the last few years, there’s a difference between dating and the beginnings of a relationship.
So here is what I have adopted as a definition of DATING: To have a social engagement with a person of the opposite sex/that you have a romantic interest in.
BEGINNINGS of a RELATIONSHIP: When 2 people COMMUNICATE they are ready to move from casual social engagements to being involved in each other’s lives where they support each other.
Some women settle for dating exclusively assuming that it means the same thing as beginning a relationship. This is where you need to be clear what you want out of being exclusive and communicate that to him.
There’s a new dating paradigm to be aware of, especially in midlife. Dating used to be the prelude of a relationship, but not today. We are dealing with more divorce than ever before and more financially stresses because of blended families. So dating has become the new normal.
You’ll need to approach every encounter with a man as a conscious woman that wants to connect with his spirit, aware of this new paradigm and not be driven by only her gatherer instinct or her fear.
When I understood this concept about singular focus verses diffused awareness and reproductive limits, I had much more compassion with myself, and the dates I was on. Every encounter became lighter and more playful with an objective to uncover and share our uniqueness.
So here is what I would like for you to do before your next date.
- Explore a new definition of dating, which includes having a social engagement with a person of the opposite sex.
- Become aware of the difference between being an interrogator and dialoguer and how to break this behavior pattern.
- How do become more comfortable with the practice of dating more than one person at the same time in order to master dating.
- Understanding the new paradigm of dating that didn’t exist 30 years ago.
If you are ready to know more about how adopting this new mindset can lead to less heartbreak and more opportunities to date men, read my next article on the 4 social virtues that every human being wants to feel in the presence of another and create a charismatic demeanor.