I spent a lifetime trying to understand men and the dating process. The questions that wreaked havoc on my self-esteem were: “Why am I unable to attract the interest of a desirable man.” And “Why do men not ask me for a second date.”
The answer to my relationship problems came to me serendipitously from a girlfriend.
Camille would capture the attention of men wherever she went. If we were at a party, all the men would ask her to dance. When we were shopping, I would sometimes have to wait for her to finish an impromptu conversation with a strange man. Even the mailman seemed to linger to chitchat with Camille.
Truly, I was fascinated with Camille’s magic allure. One evening I asked her, “How do you attract so many men?”
Without giving it a thought, Camille said, “I just love men.”
What?!?! I thought. She’s cracked. She’s wacko! A real looney-tune. I couldn’t possibly love all me—nor would I want to.
As an adolescent Camille’s father was the most important person in her life. His unconditional love and support nurtured her acceptance and understanding of men. Camille was programmed at a very young age to enjoy, value and appreciate the very essence of a man. More importantly, her father taught her to revere and respect herself as a woman. It became the foundation of how Camille would relate to all men—for the rest of her life.
I, on the other hand, grew up with a hyper-critical mother and an emotionally unavailable father. As an adult I doubted my self-worth. I craved the love and acceptance of man and I committed to men who were less than what I wanted and deserved.
Camille was as cocky as she was confident. “I deserve to be put on a pedestal,” she once told me, “And I would never be with a man who did not treat me that way.”
Kaboom! The rocket shot off in my head and the clouds parted above. Suddenly I understood how Camille attracted so many men.
Camille had been blessed with confidence and self-esteem all of her life. She got the best out of life because she believed she deserved it. She demanded it. She held out for it—and she got it.
But the question remained: How did she gain the ardent interest and admiration of so many men?
It was this: Camille "loves all men" . . . not in the literal, physical sense, but rather she approves and values each man for his unique qualities.Camille learned to never pre-judge or underestimate a man. She grew up believing that men were a source of entertainment, an opportunity for friendship, a valuable business link, a romantic hookup for a girlfriend, or a husband for herself. Camille loved to meet, talk to and learn everything she could about almost every man she met, because after all, the next man that crossed her path could be a valuable connection.
It was Camille’s open-minded, friendly, approachable presence which drew men to her. It was her genuine interest, compliments and approving mindset which caused them to stay. Men sought Camille out because they felt good about themselves in her company.
I re-entered the single world armed with my “Love-All-Men” dating philosophy,” which succinctly meant, give all men a chance to reveal their more enduring and best qualities. Everywhere I encountered men, I told myself, I love all men, I love all men. I will accept, appreciate and value the many men that cross my path. When I sat across from a not-so-hot date, I would listen politely to what he is saying, laugh at his humor, admire his intelligence and enjoy his unique personality. I would tell myself, I’m not going to marry him, I may never want to talk to him again, but in this moment, I will give this man a chance to reveal his best qualities.
Months flew by and for the first time in my life I felt witty, charming, flirtatious and confident. Men were smiling at me. Men were flirting with me. Men were asking me out for dates and pursuing me for serious relationships. It was thrilling because I knew that men were appreciating me as an intriguing, desirable woman.
In the beginning, I deliberately dated a wider range of men with the hope of dating, and even marrying the love of my life. The irony of it was: the more men I affirmed, flattered and respected—the more men I attracted. The more men I attracted—the more confident I became. And the more confident I became—Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Amen!—the more men I again I attracted.
When I ceased criticizing and pre-judging men, I soon stopped criticizing and doubting my self-worth. Loving-All-Men taught me to accept, love and value myself. Astonishingly, it was the gift of confidence and self-esteem for which I had been searching all my life.
Read the “Love-All-Men” story in its entirety in
Secrets of the Ultimate Husband Hunter
How to Attract Men, Enjoy Dating and Recognize the Love of Your Life
by Nancy Nichols.
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