Trying to find Mr Right in all the wrong places? Nice guys are more common than you think — you just need to know where, and how, to look.
Kate got William, Mary nabbed Frederik and it looks like Harry might be off the market for a while. What’s a girl got to do to score a prince these days? While it may seem like you’re destined to be desperate and dateless forever, finding your personal Prince Charming really isn’t as difficult as it looks.
All the good ones are taken
If you think that all the good guys are either married or gay, think again.
“Men are everywhere, literally,” says Vanessa Thompson, relationship expert and sexologist at NSW Sexology Services. “They shop, they go to the gym, they buy coffee and they do cooking classes,” she says.
But these nice, genuine guys tend to get passed over because women just aren’t switched on to everyday possibilities, Vanessa explains.
“Many women aren’t open to the prospect of finding Mr Right unless they are actively looking, so this limits them to bars and online dating,” she says. “While these aren’t necessarily bad options, they may not be successful either. It can be hard to get attention in these environments so women may do and say things that aren’t necessarily a true reflection of themselves.”
The key, it seems, is to look a little bit closer to home and the old saying that love happens when you least expect it is true.
“Rather than participating in activities such as online dating, which have the specific intent of finding Mr Right, women should be more open to finding their Prince Charming while participating in everyday activities,” advises Vanessa.
Christina Spaccavento, sex therapist and relationship counsellor at Sydney Sex Therapists, agrees.
“Although it can seem tough, there are plenty of nice, genuine men out there,” she says. “Introductions through family and friends often work because these people are looking out for your best interests, but other ways of meeting men are through interest groups and hobbies.”
It’s not you, it’s me
Ever wonder if the old dating cliché “it’s not you, it’s me” is true? That maybe you are the reason you can’t find the right guy?
According to authors Joanne Fedler and Graeme Friedman the world is “full of weirdos” so it’s only natural that you’ll end up in bed with one or two of them. But if it’s a pattern that continues then you may have to reassess the one constant factor — yourself.
In their book It Doesn’t Have To Be So Hard, Fedler and Friedman suggest if you’re having trouble finding a “nice” guy, you might want to have a look at your wish list.
“We all want to be with someone beautiful, but if at 31 this is our primary relationship objective, we probably haven’t fully worked through it in high school. Beauty has nothing to do with intimacy. We want someone beautiful so that we can feel beautiful. We want someone not for who they are, but what they will reflect.”
If you want to find real intimacy with someone, suggests Fedler and Friedman, you need to take responsibility for your role in the encounters you have with men. This isn’t depressing news — it’s empowering. It means you’re not a victim of the “wrong guys”, or fickle fate, but that you have the power to change what goes on in your relationships.
Where can I find I guy I click with?
Opposites might attract but the guy that is right for you will have things in common with you. So it makes sense that to find your Prince Charming, you need to be doing things you love.
If you’re not sure what you like, it’s time to have fun and experiment, suggests Vanessa.
“Art galleries, parks, wine tastings, fundraisers and sporting events are all people-rich environments that you don’t necessarily need to attend with a friend,” she says. “You could sign up for a class — cooking, massage and sign language are all fun — or volunteer for a charity. You’ll feel good and meet like-minded people,” she suggests.
Trying something new is a great way to shift old energies and patterns of behaviour. Women can push themselves to get out of their comfort zone by choosing to socialise with different and new friends. This encourages them to get out of the routine of seeing the same people every weekend.
Mr Right for you
Finding the perfect guy is hard. But finding the perfect guy for you isn’t an impossible ask.
No-one is perfect — we are all individuals who bring our own habits and idiosyncratic behaviours into our relationships, says Christina.
“Even blissfully happy couples have arguments, disagreements and pet hates, but this doesn’t mean we should settle for ‘good enough’, it simply means that new couples need to work on their relationship,” she explains.
The beauty of humanity is that we each have a different idea of who our perfect match is. Stick to searching for your personal version of perfect and you’ll be blissfully coupled sooner than you think.