* Learn practical ways to find loving and healthy relationships
* It’s possible to find love offline — you just have to know how to do it
* Easy-to-implement advice from former divorce attorney, mediator and coach
Valentine’s Day can either be one of the best days of the year — or a day you’d rather forget. If you’re just out of a relationship, or still looking for Mr. Right, it could be that your approach is all wrong. Rather than hiding behind your phone or computer screen, it’s time to go old school and step into the real world.
We caught up with Judith Joshel, a former divorce attorney and mediator who became weary of dealing with failed relationships. She wanted to help women recover from heartbreak and create loving and healthy relationships, so she became a Certified Professional Life Coach.
Joshel’s new book, “Where Are the Good Guys?” discusses effective strategies for meeting good men and recommends an extensive collection of places, activities and ideas for meeting your Mr. Right (or Ms. Right) in the real world.
Whether you’re seeking a partner for a long term relationship, for marriage, or for casual love and romance, this book hopes to change your dating and mate-seeking mindset and behavior. We read the book and it’s super easy to digest and offers up some real practical tips.
Here’s what Joshel has to say about why her book has been so successful (it’s a best-seller on Amazon) and how women (and men) can make a meaningful match off-line.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was really inspired to write this book by my coaching clients and by many other women who told me over and over how frustrated and discouraged they felt about meeting good single guys they even wanted to date – let alone marry.
Some women have great success meeting quality available guys online, but many have had little or no success. They want to meet single guys in other ways, but many really don’t know how to do it. My 28-year-old client Pam had met a number of guys online who seemed promising, but they all turned out to be pretty immature and really not looking for a committed relationship. They weren’t bad guys, just not looking for the same thing as Pam. When I told Pam that I wanted her to focus on meeting more guys in the real world, her first response was a long silence. Then she said that she didn’t have a clue how to meet guys who might interest her except online and in bars and clubs and she wasn’t keen on bars and clubs. It was a revelation to her when we began talking about where and how to meet guys she might like offline.
She’s now dating and getting to know two guys she really likes; she met one on a Meetup bike ride and the other in a Starbucks near her work. She’s now realized that the number of ways to meet good single guys in the real world are truly infinite.
Did you draw from any personal experiences for your tips and stories?
Absolutely. Apart for a fairly long living-together relationship, I was single for a number of years before I married my amazing husband, and I dated a lot. Although I did some online dating just before I got together my husband, most of the men I dated and had relationships with I met in the real world. Here are a few of the ways I met men I dated: doing political volunteer work; walking in my neighborhood; at parties; through work; hiking; running; walking my cat on a leash in the park. at my synagogue; and through friends.
Why is Valentine’s Day a good time of year for people to re-evaluate their relationship status?
On Valentine’s Day, you’re supposed to be with the one you love, right? And when you’re not, it’s easy to get discouraged and depressed. Instead of allowing yourself to go into a place of discouragement and depression, wouldn’t it be better to sit back and do some reflection about some of these things?
A few things I like to think about: how you may be getting in your own way – sabotaging yourself in love; patterns you see over and over in relationships which haven’t worked out; whether you have truly let go of an old love and are ready for a new love – not just kidding yourself that you’re ready; whether you need to take a careful look at the kind of partner you’re looking for – for example, if you’re going mainly for chemistry with a hot guy, this probably won’t to develop into a steady, loving committed relationship that will serve you over time. It might, but odds are that it won’t.
And if you’re not meeting the kinds of guys who interest and would be right for you, are you open to doing something different?
What are the drawbacks of looking for love online? Why should we take it off-line?
We all know of happy couples who met online – it works for many people. It opens a wide pool of people to meet. But here are some of the drawbacks. The online world is easy come easy go. If a guy shows interest in you and someone hotter or better in his eyes comes along, he may just disappear without a word. The feeling is that everything is really tentative.
Also: people can control how they present themselves online. Some people lie about their age, their weight, their occupation, their relationship status and/or what they’re looking for in a relationship and may post photos that are 5 or even 20 years old. Sometimes a woman will fall in love with a guy’s profile and think he’s the most amazing guy in the world. But the profile is just something he created and it may accurately reflect who he is — or it may not.
One of my clients fell in love with a guy’s profile and was very excited when he asked her out for dinner. He arrived 45 minutes late and clearly drunk! So much for his mesmerizing profile! One big danger with online dating is connecting with a guy who looks fabulous, but lives far away. You can email and have phone conversations for a year or more without meeting in person, and the woman may fall madly in love with him. Some of these guys are scammers and will then ask for a loan of money to get themselves out of a jam. Others aren’t scammers, but because of the distance. he can conceal a lot from his online partner, including other women, financial woes, etc. You get the picture!
And some guys are what I call monitor mice. They basically want a pen-pal and will email forever and maybe call or text. But they never want to meet in person. These guys are terrified of real relationships and women can get drawn into time-wasting exchanges with them for months, thinking that they’re forging a bond and will soon meet in person.
Another fact is that a number of terrific guys who want relationships don’t go online. They don’t like the online world. These guys will be engaged in real life activities and if you show up and are warm and friendly, you will meet them. I particularly like my clients to meet guys in the real world because they know right away if this is a guy they are or might become attracted to.
If you meet a guy doing something you’re interested in or even better passionate about, you’ll be feeling good; that will make you magnetic and you’ll know that you and this guy have at least one important interest in common. If you meet a guy through people you know, which is a great way to meet men, your friends may be able to vouch for his integrity. And it just feels more natural to meet a guy in your daily life or doing things that interest you or through people you know, to name just a few ways to meet guys in the real world.
What are some common mistakes or misconceptions women have about dating off-line?
Mainly women don’t know where to go to meet good guys or what to do when they run into one they’d like to meet. If a woman really wants to meet Mr. Right in the real world, she needs to turn on her “Man Radar” and keep it on: put away her phone and iPad and be open to the possibility of meeting him during every waking hour of her life. And she needs to cultivate a mindset of Radically Open Curiousity – being aware of and interested in everyone and everything around her. When she’s in a state of Radically Open Curiosity, she will be fully in the moment, noticing everyone and everything around her with curiosity and openness. It’s fun and it’s also amazing what she’ll start to notice.
Add to that an attitude of warm friendliness toward those around you and you’ll find yourself becoming more magnetic to people and more interested in them as well. Some of these people will be quality single guys you may want to date. Some may be women who know a great guy for you and would be happy to introduce you. When you’re looking to meet men offline, it’s really powerful to make a concrete plan for yourself about how you’ll do it and then to hold your feet to the fire and do it.
What advice do you have for people who are tired of looking and want to give up?
Take some quiet time for yourself, sit down and do some soul searching. Ask yourself how much you want to find your Mr. Right and how much of a commitment you’re willing to make to yourself to bring lasting love into your life. Remind yourself that not only do you long to find him, he also longs to find you. Ask yourself what you’re willing to do to allow this to happen. If you’re really burned out on trying to find him, take a complete break and focus on nurturing yourself and on things and activities which you feel passionate about. Or just take some quiet time and go inward if that feels right. If after your soul searching, you still deeply long for that relationship that will feel like home, don’t give up. Start looking again, but do it differently this time – shake it up. If you’ve been searching for a long time, consider getting some expert help from an experienced coach or therapist. We all have blind spots, that by definition, we can’t see, but often a trained professional will see them clearly and can be of great help. In my experience, no matter what traumas a woman has suffered in her life, if she deeply wants to bring lasting love into her life and is committed to doing whatever it may take to make that happen, she will succeed. Your commitment to yourself and your dream is the key.
How have you taken your own advice to heart?
I’ve always known how to attract good guys, but I was sabotaging relationships them for years without understanding what I was doing and why. I finally found a wise therapist who helped me figure it out and who then acted like a coach to help me bring my insights into my life. A couple years after that therapy ended, I married my lovely husband – we’d actually met through friends a number of years ago. His sister was a close friend and his wife was another close friend, who very sadly had died. Meeting good men through friends is one very powerful way to meet guys in the real world! Then I’ve been blessed to be able to take all I’d learned and to help so many other women attract their own Mr. Right into their lives.