Women are kicking goals in their careers, but when it comes to dating they need to brush up their business skills.
On their journey up the corporate ladder, women have had to “get their inner bloke out” and become tougher, more organised and ever more business-like. It has reaped rewards, but at a cost to their personal lives.
An increasing number of my clients are business women who have reached a success point in their careers, but failed to find love and don’t understand why. They are completely fantastic at managing their work lives, but fail to manage their emotional lives with the same efficiency.
This boils down to two main problems:
First, dating is highly emotional and it’s easy to lose practicality and sometimes rationality when caught up in it. Women need to put their business hats back on when managing their dating activities and searching process if they are not to waste a lot of time and energy, or end up with the wrong guys.
However the second problem is that once women get on the date, they try to use too much of their business side and forget their femininity. They like to lead and don’t let the man be the man.
It can seem like such a contrary process – be all business in the search, all girl on the date – but it’s a balance that women will need to find in order to manage time and potentially find Mr Right.
Women are also prepared from a young age to think in a certain way about Mr Right, and it’s not terribly helpful. Their expectation is that men are still as take charge as they’ve always been in fairy tales, but as women have grown more empowered and in some ways more masculine, many men have lost this confidence and can’t live up to the expectation.
Another problem that arises is time management. If women do not first have a clear idea of what they want and secondly have an effective filtering process, they can waste many hours a week (and sometimes a day) trawling through and chatting with unsuitable men online, or going on dates with men that are not well matched to them. It’s costly in hours and dollars.
There’s another hidden cost too, and that is to their confidence. It only takes a couple of failed dates and false beliefs start to creep in. Women start to believe there are no good men out there, or that they are not attractive or worthy of being loved. They start to give themselves negative messages, unfortunately often fuelled by well-meaning girlfriends and family.
So what do they need to do? Here are a couple of pointers:
For the busy career woman, online dating can be very time efficient if used well. It lets you access a large number of men easily and quickly and tells you the basics about them so wasted time is minimal. There is no longer a stigma associated with using dating sites, it’s now the done thing. If you had to streamline a business process you would find the most efficient solution that produces the biggest results - dating is no different.
But women need to be both disciplined and smart about how they use dating sites:
Choose the right dating site: sites that require payment will weed out a lot of time-wasters, but more importantly choose one that allows the guy to email you directly because his opening message will tell you a lot about him right off the bat.
Get clear on what you want: have your standards (core values) set in advance, and DON’T waste time chatting to anyone who doesn’t meet those, just because they’re cute and have some muscles.
Write a kick-ass profile and set a filter: a profile is a sales window and you need to understand that being negative towards men or derogatory towards yourself is a major red flag. A well written profile will do most of the work for you - include specific filter questions in it to weed out guys playing the numbers game.
Limit your time: don’t get sucked into voyeuristic trawling for hours on end. Set yourself a time slot and be disciplined with it.
Once on the date, take a moment to appreciate how difficult this can be for guys. They suffer far more rejection than we do, and in today’s world are unsure of the boundaries and what women want. Couple this with a possible lower degree of social confidence than in previous generations and it’s a wonder they date at all!
So here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
Cut the guy some slack: they don’t always showcase themselves well on the first date but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a great guy. You’ll be surprised how differently you can feel about someone on a second date.
Let him be the man: if he wants to pay, let him pay. If he’s trying to impress you, just be impressed, you don’t need to compete or out-do him. All he really wants to do is ensure you are happy and having a great time, so show it. It’s not a competition or a fight for supremacy, let him lead and enjoy being in the passenger seat for a change. You’ll be surprised how many men blossom into just what you want him to be when shown a bit of appreciation.
Don’t be so quick to judge: accept that people are different and it doesn’t make them wrong. Use the differences as a learning opportunity, and try looking for what is right rather than what is wrong.
Mostly, women need to learn to be authentic, and feel comfortable in their own skin on dates – no act, no hard to get, no tough business woman, no simpering and trying to please. Just you as you truly are, in love with the person you are, living in a space of appreciation and present moment.
As a successful career woman, have you struggled with finding guys that are not intimidated by you? I'd love to hear your stories - share in the comments box below.
Stephanie Chan is a Sydney based Life Coach, Dating Coach and Presenter.
Her passion is in working with people to improve self-worth, confidence & strength in all areas of their lives.
For daily tips, articles and insights, follow Steph on Facebook