So, I was talking to one of my friends the other day about his most recent relationship, to be more exact, a soon-to-be-finalized divorce.
I find myself in these conversations a lot these days. I suppose it has something to do with working for Ex Girlfriend Recovery, not that I mind one bit. I’m always happy to help someone make sense of their situation, even the tough situations that are comparable to trying to organize wet spaghetti noodles.
He was basically trying to figure out where he went wrong in the relationship and why it didn’t work out. After we’d been talking for a while, he looked me dead in the eye and asked,
“I don’t understand. Can you just tell me what the hell do women want?”
I had to ask him to clarify.
Speaking as a woman, I know that half the time WE don’t even know what we want.
Ask us where we want to go to dinner or where we want to go on vacation and we just might take a lifetime to answer you.
“What do we want?”
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“From us… you know… what do women want from us as men? Do we need to be good looking? Do we need to have money? Is it some sort of game? Because, from where I’m sitting, I’m relatively decent looking and financially stable, yet every relationship I’ve ever been in still crashes and burns. Who do I have to become to make my ex look at me the way she used to?”
I was shocked. Here is my friend, an amazing person, who is fairly accomplished and an all-around amazing person, telling me he wanted to change who he is in order to get a woman to think of him the same way she had 6 years ago.
I decided to delve into it with him. I only met him last year, so, I didn’t know him when they met. In fact, I met him after they had already been split up for a while. But it would be unfathomable to assume that he hadn’t changed in some way over those years.
So I asked him to describe the person he was when they met and the person she was when they met.
If you try to tell me that in the time that you and your ex were together, that you didn’t change in some way, maybe you need to take a closer look as well.
You see, throughout the course of your life, your direction changes continuously.
I know this better than most.
When I started college, I was dead set on becoming an architect. I was passionate about the direction I was going.
You would find me reading books about Frank Lloyd Wright and several other major players who were changing the game and pushing the architectural envelope. Yeah, I was all in and ready to put in the work… until I sat in that first Calculus class. It was at that point that I realized how many serious math courses it would take to get a degree. That’s when I went… ummmmm maybe architecture’s not for me.
Then I decided to just focus on getting my Associate Degree in General Studies.
Well, I did that, but I let myself get distracted along the way and wound up taking three years rather than two to get the degree. Although I also got my heart broken in there, too, along the way.
Call it unexpected, hands-on training to work here.
My direction changes again after that innumerable times. And I don’t regret a single thing.
You might be passionate about something now, and in five years it won’t matter at all to you.
I’m telling you right now, that at the time of my first heartbreak, I would have easily done anything to convince my ex to give it another go.
Man, am I glad that didn’t pan out.
Otherwise, I would have never realized how important the no contact period was, let alone how important it was to take that time to focus on moving forward and creating the life I dared imagine. The only catch was that I had imagined it with someone standing by my side, cheering me on.
It took me a while to realize that I needed to build the life first and then consider allowing someone to run alongside and possibly double-dutch their way in.
Talking to Matt, I realized he was wanting to go in the one direction you can’t go, backwards. He was focused on figuring out at what point he had gone wrong.
Doing this can send you in a tailspin that is almost impossible to get out of without help.
You see, when he met his ex, he was dead set on becoming a pro baseball player. At that time in his life he was spending all of his time focused on practicing, eating healthy and keeping his mind on the game.
Now, six years later, he’s not a pro ballplayer. In fact, it’s been four years since he’s even picked up a bat. Today his focus is more on his current job, a singular hobby, and his daughter. He loves his job, but he would be hard-pressed to say that it’s something he’s passionate about.
This got me thinking. Are there specific characteristics that all women find attractive?
I mean, besides actually being attractive.
I mean, man cannot live on hotness alone… or bread.
Note that I say women, not girls. There is a point every woman’s life where relationships become less about our guy being good-looking and rich and more about them being a good partner that shares the same values and goals.
So, if you are looking to get a WOMAN to see you as a viable option after the relationship has already failed, I challenge you to take a look at the person you were when you first met.
A lot of the time, when two people first start dating, they put everything out there on the table.
“What do you do?”
You wouldn’t answer with,
“Oh, I’m just a data analyst at the bank.”
What you should say is,
“I analyze data for a company that helps people across the world get the financing to follow their dreams.”
The only problem here is that, if you don’t actually love your job that much and you two start dating, she’s going to look at you one day and say,
“You’ve changed! You’re not the man I fell in love with!”
The same thing can be said for life. This day and age, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram make it so easy to show people the life you wish you led as opposed to the life you actually lead.
Someone told me this when I was younger and all I could imagine was trying to spray paint a pile of poop gold. (The strange mind of a graphic designer, I suppose.)
I mean, most people are fairly unhappy with the life they’ve been handed. It’s human nature to want more.
My challenge to you today is to stop trying to get your old relationship back.
I can see your face.
“Um, but that’s why I’m here reading this article right now. I want my ex back.”
Well that’s all well and good. But I need you to realize something. The relationship you had, the one that is now over, there was something wrong with it.
Otherwise, it would still be going strong. If she was the one that called it off, then you might not have even realized something was wrong.
However, what I can offer you today is a chance to build something new from the rubble.
Let that old relationship die, and take this opportunity to build something new, possibly with your ex.
Let me explain something, yes every woman is attracted to certain physical attributes depending on her own tastes and preferences, I mean, some women can be quite shallow.
So, you can spend every morning and afternoon in the gym becoming a god-like vessel, but without actual sustenance to back it up, you might as well just throw in the towel.
You hear people talk about the whole package,
Well congratulations! You now know what they mean.
If given a choice, most women would choose to be with a man who is both smart and good-looking.
However, there are some traits that you can cultivate that will make you attractive, not only to your ex, but to all women even if you aren’t an Abercrombie Model.
You’ve heard that saying, “Men want to be him; women want to be with him.”
Well, there you go.
These three traits are the “keys to the kingdom”, if you will.
Any direction you could possibly imagine going after a devastating blow, like the end of a relationship, can be achieved by taking on these three character traits and making them an integral, part of who you are.
It’s an indirect way of going about getting what you want, in this case, getting your ex’s desires to line up with yours.
And I think we can both agree here that most women find themselves influenced by not only their opinions but the opinions of their friends. So, you not only have to win her over, but you have to win over her friends as well.
This is why it’s so important that if you make a change and your lifestyle to get her back, it needs to be a permanent change.
Again, I think we can both agree, that if any changes are to be made they should also benefit you.
That being said, let’s get into a few of these simple characteristics that you can alter or work to words to become a man everyone will admire.
Take Giacomo Casanova for example.
Men like Casanova are known for their wit and charisma.
I don’t know if you’ve seen a picture of this guy, but he most certainly was not known as a master of seduction simply because of his looks.
Heath Ledger and David Tennant may have played him as a good looking smooth talker in modern depictions of his exploits, but the man himself was far less pleasing to the eye.
But what even is charisma?
If you were to Google it right now, you would get this definition
“A compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.”
Being charismatic is all about how you interact with other people, displaying confidence, intelligence, and optimism.
All of which seem impossible after the blow to the ego that is a breakup, I know.
So how in the world are you supposed to develop these under such harsh circumstances?
I say develop, because all of these characteristics lie in every single person’s potential. It’s just a matter of finding the right catalyst to activate them.
You can use your breakup as a catalyst, but you’ll have to find something more substantial to keep momentum. We’ll talk more about that in the next section.
The trick here is being present.
That’s not what I mean.
What are you doing is being aware of what’s going on in the world.
- Not Netflix.
- Not gaming online.
- Not specific to your life only.
I’m saying that you need to expand your acknowledgement bubble.
This is one of the things I struggle with most.
The reason it is so important to know what’s going on in the world around you is because you need to be able to have conversations with confidence and optimism. It is impossible to speak confidently about something you are completely clueless about.
People that try to do this without actual knowledge risk making a fool out of themselves.
Another key to being charismatic is to stay optimistic, or at least appear optimistic. The reason this plays such a huge role in being charismatic is because optimistic energy is contagious.
People want to be around people who make them feel good. Like the definition said, it inspires devotion in others.
People follow anyone who seems to know where they are headed.
Who are you more likely to want to go on a trip with, the person that is just wandering aimlessly, or the person with the GPS?
If you are negative all the time, they will feel like they are constantly trying to pick you up out of your negative mood, which can be draining.
You know when you were little and your mom would tell you, “If you don’t have anything good to say don’t say anything at all.”?
Well I would make an alteration to that. If you don’t have anything interesting to say, then, at least be interested.
Most charismatic people are very engaging when they speak. They are able to communicate clearly enough to keep their audience focused. When they aren’t speaking, they are actively listening, not preparing their response in their head. They don’t need to have time to prepare. They are knowledgeable enough to respond without that preparation.
Active listening makes the other people involved feel heard.
How many times has your ex told you that you don’t listen to her or that you have “selective hearing?”
Being able to speak clearly isn’t just a reflection of you being knowledgeable. It also reflects the cool collectiveness of a charismatic person.
Now that you are knowledgeable and actively listening. Pay attention to whether or not you tend to ramble, or speak quickly. If so, try slowing the pace at which you speak.
By conveying your thoughts in a cool, collected manner, even when you are unbelievably excited, you can come off as confident and charismatic.
After a breakup, it’s easy to feel like you have no real purpose.
But, presently, I would like to ask you to look back at your relationship and tell me, did you have purpose at that time?
Were you chasing something: a dream, a goal, a future?
Often times, I find that when people tell me that their relationship fell apart, it is usually because the two parties settled into what can only be described as comfortable hibernation.
Like bears stocking up on nutrients for the winter, a couple will get comfortable in a certain routine and settle in.
They stop striving for those big goals, because they’re happy now and really, why rock the boat? It’s not a conscious decision, it’s just something that happens without us even noticing.
So, that being said, is there something you’re chasing… aside from your ex?
There are more in-depth ways to go about this, but I’ll give you a quick rundown on how to find your direction.
When traveling you cannot choose a direction without knowing first where you want to wind up. You may as well do this.
Just getting a general idea about where you want to end up is a good start.
Remember, direction without a goal is just aimless wandering.
Some people start out picturing the endgame as a complete idea.
My suggestion is to get clear on just a few things you would like to change about your life right now. Otherwise, you’ll get overwhelmed by things to do and get stuck at a standstill.
This goes back to being charismatic. Charismatics tend to jump into action without wasting time on over-planning.
Over planning something people do when they’re afraid to change. Subconsciously, they create an excuse not to move forward.
Don’t be that guy.
So, start small and get clear on the general direction you want your life to go and what step you can take to steer that direction.
For example, someone who is overweight might decide to begin living a healthier lifestyle. Instead of spending a lot of time reminiscing on how they got to the position they’re in or over-planning and dreading how much work it will take to get where they need to be, a charismatic person with direction would simply pick a plan and start on it without wasting time.
This is my goal for you.
Pick something that needs to change, and go do something about it.
Don’t let anything or anyone, especially yourself, hold you back.
When I say drive, I mean to go after something with an intense desire and usually with a sense of urgency.
When I was in college, I decided that my grades needed more focus. So, I hit the books… hard.
At the time I was casually seeing a guy named Peter. When I would turn down the chance to hang out in lieu of studying, he would tease me about how focused I had become, referring to it as manic fervor.
It always made me laugh, because it always made me sound like I was some crazed lunatic on the quest for answers.
I don’t know why, but that phrase has stuck with me over the years and still makes me laugh.
Anyways… that’s kind of the goal here, to build a life chasing a goal that you believe in so much that you couldn’t stop if you tried.
You HAVE to reach it.
For example, let’s suppose you decide to go after a job you love, rather than the job you have now that makes you want to punch yourself in the face.
I know I’ve been there.
Now my suggestion, in order to find drive, is to choose a path to a job that you can be passionate about.
I say a path, because we can’t download new skillsets like they did in the matrix quite yet and you aren’t just going to wake up tomorrow and be fully knowledgeable in a new profession.
Let’s say that you have a knack for graphic design and you decide that you’re going to pursue a job in that field. In order to nurture that drive, or passion, that is necessary, you wouldn’t settle for just any job in graphic design. You would want to go after a job with a company whose values and goals line up with yours.
For you to be able to have your pick of the job you want, you have to stand out in your field. My suggestion would be to take a class or two honing up on your skill set, or doing a little research online.
The reason I suggest that you choose a company with the same values as you is because it will afford you the opportunity to become passionate about what you do an work with people who fan the flame that is your enthusiasm toward the work that you do.
This example is just for someone who isn’t happy in a job they’re in. However, if finding your passion means joining a club, or finding a new hobby, and that suits your situation better, then that is what I suggest you do.
For me, it was finding out that I love cycling and surrounding myself with more like-minded, driven people. It gave me a reason to wake up excited in the morning.
There is a reason these three traits are the ones I chose to talk to you about today. They are known to be “leadership characteristics”.
In 2014 behavior psychologists did a study on evolutionary programming.
They found that people who are part of a specific group are more likely to find their group’s leader attractive then the people who weren’t in their group were, simply because he was their leader.
There is another way to grow these traits all at once.
This tactic requires that you put yourself in situations repeatedly where you are required to take control.
It’s kind of a “practice makes perfect” way of going about things.
DARE TO DREAM
You remember that life that we were talking about earlier? You know, the one that has to be spray painted for everyone to see?
What if you dared to believe that you could actually turn that life you imagine into a reality?
This is where the fairy tales get it wrong.
You can’t just wish your life better.
Build on these characteristics, and then move forward.
Chase the life you dare to dream of.