(I can’t wait to see your face when you see what I got you for your birthday.)
Anyways, after glaring resentfully at the book over a period of six months, I decided to actually pick it up and thumb through it one day. I read the first chapter and was laughing my butt off!! Dr. Phil you are such a witty rascal!!
After reading one of the excerpts from e-mails that were sent to Dr. Phil asking him for dating advice, I realized that he had not written this book targeted at women like me.
One excerpt read: “My last blind date picked me up at the high-rise. We walked out to where a number of cars were parked. He opened the car door, put me in and walked around the back of the car, got into his car and left!! I was sitting in some stranger’s car! I will hunt him down if it takes the rest of my life!”
Clearly, this woman is a dumb-ass. Her first tip off should have been when he said “meet me at the high-rise”. Secondly, what the hell is she thinking getting into a car with a man she has never met before?? I knew better at the age of six to do anything like that!
Yet nonetheless, I was still entertained enough to keep reading.
However by the end of Chapter Two, where Dr. Phil pointed out that you teach people how to treat you, I knew I wasn't completely exempt from his target audience. I realized I might actually benefit from some of the material in this book when the following checklist hit a little too close to home:
1. Would I prefer more respectful treatment from guys?
Yeah, how about 90 percent of guys I’ve met. How about that.
2. Do I go along with what others want more often than not?
Umm… guilty as charged.
3. Do I put the feelings of others above my own?
Sometimes. Why are you judging me?
4. Do I often ignore, deny or overlook my true feelings?
I’m not sure how I feel about that question.
5. Am I afraid if I don’t do what others want, they will leave?
Not really, I know they're going to leave eventually.
Turns out, according to the book, if you answered yes to just one of these questions you are teaching people to treat you badly. Huh, how about that. Maybe I do need professional help after all.
In Chapter Three, I learned that self-esteem really wasn’t my issue. It was more so that I was afraid of getting hurt.
In another interrogating questionnaire about inner personal truths, I surprised myself when I answered yes to the following question:
Do I feel unworthy of love?
Considering though, that I answered in the negative to all the other self-destructive questions I think I fared pretty well in the confidence department. But still, I was bothered enough by actually answering yes to the one question above that I needed to face up to Chapter Four: Single - There Are No Accidents.
In Chapter Four, I realized that my self-confidence level wasn’t necessarily the issue. It was more so that I was afraid of failure and getting hurt. Somewhere, deep down, I always believed that Minute Man was going to hurt me. I believed it, so it became a truth. It was a reality that I may have created simply by believing it.
By this point in the book, I began to understand my reality is created by my inner thoughts and beliefs. If I could recognize some of that destructive inner dialogue and turn it around, I might be able to create a new reality for myself. I suppose this is the foundation for almost any self-help book, but sometimes we all just need a little reminder to be kinder to ourselves.
I took a couple of weeks to work on getting those “nay saying saboteurs” out of my system and moved on to Chapter Five: Your Inner Bride.
(Subtly was never one of Mom’s strong points)
Chapter Five confirmed, basically what I already knew. I’ve got it going on. I’ve got presence. I’ve got style. I’ve got personality. I’ve got content and I’ve got appearance.
“It’s better to be looked over than overlooked” - Mae West
Blah, blah, blah I already know how awesome I am. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was, I didn’t think I deserved or was capable of having a successful and loving relationship and I’ve addressed that so on to Chapter Six- Your Guy-Q
“Men don’t like to cuddle. We only like it if it leads to… you know… lower cuddling.” - Ray Barone.
Holy crap!! What an eye-opening chapter!! I learned more about the way guys think in this chapter than I’ve learned my in my entire life experience!!
For instance, ladies did you know that men find learning emotions as hard as most of us find learning algebra??? A hurt feeling to a guy computes to women like a trigonometry equation!! Wow, talk about a life changing perspective!! Holy crap, everything makes so much more sense now!!
He would be out of his depth in a bird bath. (Duly noted.)
Seriously, I learned so much about the difference between men and women in this chapter that I feel like I could conquer a small village right now.
I didn’t think I was going to find any valuable information in Chapter Seven: Your Man Plan, because I find attracting men has always been fairly easy for me. However, what I did learn was how to attract the right KIND of guy and how to keep him interested.
Unlike some of my friends, who shall remain nameless, I don’t just go hop into bed with any random dude and THEN start dating him because I already know what the book confirms in chapter seven:
Men think women that sleep with them on the first date are great, but not the marrying type.
However, I have been guilty of offering to much of myself too soon in other ways. I think one of my biggest mistakes in past relationships has been being subservient to the men I am attracted to and giving them everything they want. I’ve learned that this kind of behavior only teaches men how to take you for granted.
Ouch. Thanks Mom.
In Chapter Eight: Fishing with a “Net” introduces the idea of internet dating. I don’t know if I’m exactly ready to take that leap.
Dr. Phil says if you want to make a meaningful connection you might have to step outside your comfort zone. If that’s true, I think I’ll just start going to church.
(Don’t think for a second Mom, that I don’t know what you’re up to here!)
In chapter nine there are some subtle hints on how to find out if a guy will make a quality partner without sending him running for the hills. Basically, if you want to know what to expect from a guy in marriage take a good long look at the way his father treated his mother.
(Ouch. Another blow to the gut! I wish I knew more about Minute Man’s childhood before I married him!)
Official disclaimer: I have met guys out there that did not have the best role model parents, and did everything in their power to be the complete opposite of his father. I know not every guy is just like his father, but looking back on most of my experiences I do find that to be true.
Chapter ten talks about the phobias men have regarding commitment and how to combat those fears. I’ve never really had a hard time getting men to want to commit to me, it’s the staying committed part that I’ve found to be most challenging!!
Still, I found this chapter interesting because it discussed the basic needs of men which was a subject I found educational. For instance, men really crave a women’s approval and want their women to be proud of them.
Reflecting back on my marriage here, I wish I had told Minute Man more how proud I was of all the work he attempted to do on the house. I realize now, he really didn’t know what he was doing. He was just trying to impress me.
Chapters eleven and twelve talk about how to maintain a healthy and successful relationship. However, I think that is a bit premature right now seeing I haven’t even been on a date in months.
So what I thought was going to be a corny laugh fest actually turned out to be a very educational and insightful tool for past, present and future relationships. It helped me understand what I could have done differently in past relationships. It helped me change my thinking toward my present dating situation (or lack thereof) and it gave me some useful tips to apply toward future relationships. My thanks is to you Dr. Phil