This story is inspired by some of our members who provide feedback that they didn’t enjoy the dinner they attended for some reason. We feel for them and can only send them love and try to help them to take a look at things in a different way.
Let’s call her Tammy. Tammy had shared with me that she had been single for a few years. At first she had spent her time working and spending time with her family and friends. Eventually Tammy was ready to go out and meet some new people. Tammy’s experience with online dating was not a pleasant one. The men she communicated with turned out to be either married or nothing like their photo and profile when she finally met them.
When Tammy contacted us to enquire about our dinners, she was excited because she felt she would enjoy this process much more. We explained she would be meeting some new members at each dinner. They would be around her own age, and they would have some interests in common with her. We discussed that the dinners are designed to be relaxed and friendly. The focus is on going out to meet some new singles, and making connections with some interesting people. “Even having the opportunity to get dressed up, and go out to a lovely restaurant will be wonderful.” “Making friends I can spend time with will be good.” Tammy said. “If I meet a partner that would be the icing on the cake.” she added.
I was excited for Tammy and proud of her for being proactive and taking a positive step for her life. She has a lot to offer and deserves to create a fulfilling life.
Tammy has attended a few dinners now. I’m always very interested to read of her experiences and perception of the group and the evening.
Tammy complained about a number of things she was unhappy about.
- The people she met were nice, but she didn’t have anything in common with them.
- The other diners didn’t show interest in her or ask her about herself.
- The people she met were not attractive to her.
- They talked about subjects she is not interested in.
- The other diners were too old/too young for her.
- There were more than or less than 6 people at the dinner.
- There was no one she was interested in meeting again.
- The carpark at the restaurant was very dark.
I decided to have a chat with Tammy about her experiences and how she could have a different outcome. Tammy was only interested in meeting some more people who would be more attractive to her, between a specific age group, with certain interests. Tammy seemed to enjoy relaying all of the shortcomings of the people she had met. We could continue to send Tammy to more dinners and meeting more people, but that would not give her the outcome she said she wanted.
I pointed out to Tammy she had three options.
- Tammy could stop attending our dinners.
2. If she wanted to truly meet new friends and ultimately a loving partner, she could take some counselling and try a different approach where she would see other people in a different way.
3. She could maintain the status quo, continue to meet more people and continue to believe there is something wrong with all of them.
Tammy definitely wasn’t interested in the first option. She had joined and wanted to attend the dinners.
Tammy also rejected the second option. Counseling was out of the question. She didn’t see why she had to change in any way.
Tammy seemed committed to the third option. It struck me as odd that someone would complain about their experiences and still choose not to look at how they could get a different outcome. It seems the most difficult thing for most of us to do is accept that we are in charge of our experiences and only we can change them.
I told Tammy that I wanted her to do a thought experiment. I said to imagine a man she would meet at dinner who she thought was perfect. I said that between now and the next time we spoke, I wanted her to list at least five things that her perfect man would do. Tammy seemed excited about the assignment and promised to bring the list next time we spoke. How would he act? How would he speak to her? What would he say to her?
The following week, Tammy enthusiastically read the list she had prepared.
- She said he would be open and friendly.
- He would be interested and ask some questions about her, but not too personal.
- He would be respectful, ask about her interests and how she likes to spend her time.
- He would have a warm, friendly energy.
- He would be happy to share some information about his life, but not dominate the conversation with bragging about his life.
- He would make an effort to ensure that everyone had an enjoyable evening at the table.
I asked Tammy if she thought someone who acted this way would be someone she would love to meet at dinner. Absolutely! That would be perfect.
Then I asked Tammy how many of these qualities she displayed when she met people at dinner. “Oh all of them.” she replied. We then reviewed the feedback she had given and asked her to measure it against what she had said her perfect man would do. They were quite the opposite.
So here is a lady who is convinced that she isn’t meeting the right people at dinner. She believes that if we just put the perfect people at dinner, she would be happy. But she hasn’t been behaving anything like the way that she would like to be treated. She has been behaving in a manner that is certain to firstly block her from recognising a potential friend of partner. And she isn’t presenting herself in a manner that would make her attractive to them either.
Taking a step back and recognising that we are the biggest factor in our success. Tammy wants to have people to make her feel special and ultimately someone to love her. I asked Tammy next time she went to dinner, or anytime when she was meeting new people, to stop, slow down, take some deep breaths and focus internally. Connect with the part of you that knows to be kind and supportive instead of condemning. Remember you have a choice. You can pour out anxiety, and judgement or our can pour out love.
What a way to gain some new friends or a partner. Radiate love and see what happens.
radiate love quote by Miley Cyrus
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