Danielle is a 39-year-old Duke graduate with a Baywatch body and an intimidatingly beautiful face. She brings in an annual income of $250,000 from her business as a motivational speaker and author.
Yet, she had a hard time getting a third date.
Jessica is a 34-year old UCLA medical school graduate with an active social circle of equally intelligent women and a thriving OB/GYN practice. On weekends, she is an avid horseback rider.
Yet, she continued to be "ghosted" by men she had felt had the potential to become great relationship material.
Danielle and Jessica are only two examples of the masses of smart, successful, strong and beautiful women — who are single.
Those who fall into the first category have been ingrained with the idea that they must publicly embody perfection at all times. They present "perfect" on a date. They are interesting, intelligent, successful and strong. Men would love to bring this type of woman home to their mothers and show off to their bosses. She is constantly asked why she's still single and receives offers to be set up with your brother, your nephew or your best friend. Yet, she is somehow forgettable, and he quickly loses interest.
Why? Because she is perfect. Perfect is boring. Perfect is not relatable. Perfect makes others feel like they have nothing to add, so they are not needed. Perfect lacks humanity.
Danielle and I worked on how to be vulnerable without losing her confidence. She needed to learn how to allow a man to see behind the curtain, beyond the facade of "I don't need you," and beneath the "I can do it myself" veneer. As soon as she allowed herself to show her true self, as opposed to the self she shows off for public consumption, third dates turned into fourth and fifth dates. More than the lineup of men ready to commit, Danielle felt comfortable in her own skin for the first time.
Jessica fell into the second category: women who are always busy and make everything look great. Being a pleaser is their biggest weakness. Because her brains have always made people happy and brought on praise, she is accustomed to making others happy — and she thrives on it.
In an attempt to please, she has lowered her standards when it comes to men. She is a do-gooder with an, "I can help you" attitude that attracts men who like the attention and enjoy the fruits of her labor. Fun is fleeting, and while she desperately wants depth, she settles time and time again for just good enough.
Jessica and I worked on putting herself first, because her needs are valid. She has to be honest with herself first — and then with others. We worked on how to have conversations of substance, find fun in the exploration of depth, voice her needs and not be afraid to let others down just because she has a different opinion, expectation or idea. She had to stop being ok with "good enough" and believe she deserved better. When she stopped being on, stopped doing and simply started being, she allowed herself to be happy just being herself.
Smart women don't have to be single. They just have to strip themselves of their perfect, successful and pleasing facades and instead accept a "Here I am" mentality. Get rid of "Here I am. What do you think?" or "Here I am. I have it all together." Embrace "Here I am. I don't expect you to judge me. I just want you to see me."
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