The mass media, many dating experts, and even some of your friends would have you believe that “getting a man” is hard. They say things like:
- “With so many Black men in jail/unemployed/dating out/on the down low/trying to be players, it is nearly impossible to find a good man.”
- “Most guys our age just want to hook up. They don’t actually want a serious relationship.”
- “There are just so many beautiful, highly educated women willing to bend over backward to get and keep a man–or steal the one you have! How can I compete with that?”
I myself have even said and believed in these kinds of defeated thought patterns. However, after much heartbreak, confusion, hours of searching through self-help books, and crying with my friends, I have realized that finding a man is not at all hard to do.
“Okay, Kaneisha, so I have a man, but how do I stay in love? He seems to be losing interest in me. I’m feeling kind of bored too,” says Shauna. (Shauna is the name of the woman I am going to converse with and direct my advice to in this post. Any resemblance to anyone real or living is highly likely and entirely coincidental.)
My advice to the lonely woman in search of a man or to Shauna, who has a man, but is feeling stagnant, would be the same thing:
Focus first and foremost on thinking good-feeling thoughts, being happy and feeling good, and everything you want will follow.
Lonely Woman: “But how can I feel good when I’m so lonely? Why does every guy that shows interest in me eventually disappear? I’m just so tired of this…”
Shauna, you are looking to your man to make you happy, and that is not his job. For any woman that says to me that she is having a really difficult time finding a man or being happy with the one she has, I can guarantee you that she is putting other people’s happiness and approval over her own.
If you focus on doing the things that make you happy, on thinking only the thoughts that make you feel good, and being around the people that help you to be positive, you will become a MAN MAGNET. Happiness turns you into a man magnet for two reasons:
1) When you are happy, full of good-feeling thoughts, you emit positive energy and a strong expectation that the things you want are coming to you. You believe you can have that which you desire, so your attention is drawn toward the events, thoughts, and actions that bring you closer to the fulfillment of that desire. You notice people you didn’t notice before, feel motivated to show up to events you would have skipped before, smile at people who you would have looked through before. When you are a shining orb of happiness inside and out (which is achieved through your devoted attention to doing, feeling, and being happy and feeling good), people and circumstances will be drawn to you to perpetuate and increase that happiness.
2) Men like happy women. When a man is with an unhappy woman, he feels like her unhappiness is somehow his fault. When a man encounters a problem, he likes to be able to fix it–and an unhappy woman is a discouraging unfixable problem (since a person can only make herself happy). Thus, he’d rather not be around a problem that he can’t fix than to stick around feeling powerless–and catching the brunt of his woman’s unhappiness.
These same principles apply for women who are in relationships and fear their man “falling out of love with them.” You never need to fear a man falling out of love with you if you are in love with yourself–and in love with your own life. Women are lovers, nurturers, and caretakers, but we often take on this role to a level of self-neglect and denial of your heart’s true desires.
You cannot focus on making someone else happy while focusing on your own happiness at the same time.
Yes, I said it. Your job in a relationship is to make yourself happy. This does not mean that you are inconsiderate of your partner’s wants, thoughts, and feelings. Rather, it means that you take the time and energy to devote to what makes YOU happy as your priority. It is likely the case that a big part of making yourself happy is doing things for your partner that makes him/her happy, but while this is good, this cannot be your primarily goal, because somewhere along the way, you’ll look up and realize how much of you has been lost in your quest to please the other person.
When I shared this revelation with Big last night, he was skeptical but intrigued. “I’m not so sure about this. Relationships are about becoming a unit–not just doing whatever you want.” And I think that many people would agree with Big. I agree that marriage is about becoming one, but it doesn’t mean that what feels good to one person is now magically going to feel good and bring joy to both people. This is what I am talking about. Each person in a relationship (or in a potential relationship for those of you who are single) has the primary task of identifying, paying attention to, and pursuing good-feeling thoughts which then inspire a wide variety of actions, actions that often end up making you both happy, such as gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, and physical affection.
Many of you may recognize the list in the prior sentence as the five love languages. While the Five Love Languages proclaims the importance of expressing love to your partner in his/her language in order to strengthen your bond and demonstrate your love and appreciation for one another, I want to go one step further and say that speaking your partner’s love language will be entirely useless if you do not first make sure that you are full of good-feeling thoughts and experiences.
You cannot give away what you do not have.
If you are feeling the void of a loving mate in your life, do not berate yourself, blame yourself, or look for someone or something else to blame. From this moment on, decide that you will find things in your life to feel great about–and expect more great things to happen for you. The key is to have positive thoughts that are accompanied by positive feelings. If you are thinking positive thoughts like, “My perfect partner will find me and sweep me off my feet,” but you are feeling discouraged, exhausted, and defeated, you are canceling out all the power of that positive thought.
Just as airplanes, iphones, and flat-screen tvs first existed in someone’s mind as an idea but are now enjoyed in their physical form, so too must your happy relationship first start in your mind. And then once that happy relationship has manifested in your life, you keep it happy by continuing to focus on thoughts that make you happy and feel good.
Your life is yours to be lived, enjoyed, and delighted in. Don’t waste another second worrying about what other people think, how you can make someone else happy, or what you “should” be doing at this point in your life. Think the thoughts that make you feel happy and good now. Take the actions that are inspired by those good-feeling thoughts. Then enjoy what comes to you as a result of you being courageous, open, and amazing enough to do your part in your life story by focusing on your happy ending.