Dating / Relationship Question and Answer
1 August 2001
How to Sell – for the Single Mother
I am a 39-year-old mother of 4 children, divorced and trying to find the
“right mate”. How do I go about not scaring men off?
Your question actually has two answers. The first one is simple: find men that
aren’t scared off by your 4 children! There are men out there
looking for ready-made families, however they aren’t
The second answer is much more complicated. If you’ve seen our website, you may
have come across the article to men on dating single mothers
where I advise men to steer-clear. This isn’t a jab against
single mothers. It is a warning for men that might not otherwise
know the pitfalls. Let’s face it – with 4 kids, I don’t know when
you have time to date, let alone foster a relationship with a
man! This is at least a juggling act.
So, on to your question.
The answer is to become marketable! In fact, you
want to place yourself into the best possible situation. Absolutely forget the “loves me
just as I am” concept. I hear this all too often from women –
they don’t want to change or grow – they just want to find
the guy that will take them exactly like they are. Of
course, these are the same women that become bitter and lonely in their old age.
Don’t do this – let me give you an example:
Imagine the person that invents a new product.
He really believes in it for doing whatever it does. In fact, he
sticks to it without testing the market, and just jumps right in
to begin selling it on his enthusiasm alone. Now, it may be the
best thing since sliced bread, but nobody buys it. Why? Because it
isn’t packaged correctly, it’s too expensive, it’s too difficult
to use, it doesn’t solve a particular problem, etc., etc. So,
years go by and the guy eventually winds up in bankruptcy
because he isn’t willing to fix his invention to fit his market.
Who won? Well, he got his product out, but it didn’t sell. So, his
product failed, his market never benefited, and he lost.
So many of the women I talk to are like this guy.
They don’t want to change anything, and hold on with white
knuckles to things just as they are. They expect that some man
some day will find them and love them for who they are. Maybe
this will happen, but it is a 1 in 1000 chance. You have the
added challenge of your ready-made family. In short, if you
aren’t willing to change some of the things
about yourself, you’re not going to find that guy.
So, what do you have to change? Since I don’t know you, I can’t really
say specifically. Instead, let’s look at what your “customer” wants to
buy. Then, all you have to do is become
“marketable”, create a “marketing plan”, and start selling your product (you!) Here we
“Marketable”: Consider your “target customer”. He’s a
single man, in a particular age range, of some level of stability
and is interested in a relationship. Also, he isn’t scared off by 4
kids. In fact, he loves kids. So, what is this customer looking for?
He probably likes the idea of having a family and a wife – or at
least a girlfriend (don’t worry about the marriage thing right now).
This is a woman that makes him feel good about himself. Perhaps
she’s a homebody, or maybe she’s career minded. Maybe she’s looking
to the best for the family as a whole, and loves the idea of
supporting him in his career. Note, that I’m not recommending any
particular thing here – I’m only making suppositions – you have to
(get to?) decide what this man is looking for.
What you’re trying to do here is to
determine what the man you’re looking for ultimately wants.
Then, all you have to do is become that woman! Consider this:
what he doesn’t want is a woman that has no time for him; that
tears down his self-esteem; that nags him; or that just views
him as a paycheck. He wants a partner. (Believe me, men don’t
want to be alone the rest of their lives anymore than you do!)
He wants a lover. He wants a friend. He wants a teammate. Consider
objectively – what things about you match your prospective
mate’s goals? Also consider, what things about you DON’T support
your his goals? You might want to enlist the help of a trusted
friend here. Have her (don’t ask a man – he probably won’t know!) help you with these
The other aspect
of marketability is being approachable. Do you sit with your
head buried in a paper, or with your arms and legs crossed? Do
you fail to make eye contact with people? Do you hide off in a
corner at parties? In short, you’ve got to make yourself appear
approachable by men. This doesn’t mean that you have to “throw
yourself” out there. Just be easily approachable – don’t seem
“dangerous”. Also, consider that you don’t know when you’ll meet
a man that piques your interest, so always dress well when you go out.
Plan”: Most people spend more time planning their vacations than they do their
lives. Isn’t this ridiculous? You too need to spend
some time designing your life.
This plan must be committed to paper. Spend
some time here and really think through what you are looking
for. We began the process in the last section (becoming
marketable), but you need to expand on this. Consider, what does
he do for a living? Where is he from? What are his political
views? In short, you need to describe this man to the “nth” degree –
be absolutely specific.
Once you’ve decided on who your man is, next decide how you’re going to go about
meeting him. Where is he? How are you going to increase your
contacts so that you and he cross paths? Exploit every possible
option you may have. Bars, health clubs, etc., are only a very
few places. Of course, men are all over – all you have to do is be where they are!
Your plan should also include an “educational” element. You’re going to have to learn what your
prospective man looks for in women that he approaches. Then, you
want to be that woman. There is a ton of information here. Start
collecting it and adjusting your own persona to match. Learn to
make eye contact and to smile if you don’t do this already.
Start “Selling”: Once you get your plan worked out – go work your plan! You need to meet a
number of men – possibly a large number. Don’t turn down any
possible source of leads. Tell your friends and your family that
you’re actively seeking a partner. You’d be surprised how well
they know you and what you’re looking for. But, don’t prequalify
anyone. You really don’t know who’s going to match your plan until
you talk with him. Also, you should use every other tool
available to you. Use the Internet – there are a ton of singles
areas on the web that match people. Use your local area papers –
many have personals sections. Consider your work (but be
careful) – who here might match? What about your kid’s school –
there are probably single parents involved there as well. You
might want to take a class or two (try to think of where men might
You also need to learn the basic skills of flirting. Learn to look at everyone you pass and smile at them.
These are the basic skills you need to meet someone. Men won’t
approach you if you don’t look approachable. Adopt a pleasant, calm
and confident manner – this is as attractive to men as it is to
women! In short, become a student of these skills and practice using them everyday.
I also suggest you pick up a copy
of my book, “Being a Man in a Woman’s World”. It is written for
men, but it goes into all of this in great depth and I get
reports from women all the time about how they’ve benefited from
it’s information.Then, let me know how things turn out.
Good luck, much love…