Ask Elizabeth: How to Attract the Right Kind of Man.

by | Ask Elizabeth


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Dear Elizabeth

I am a strong, independent woman who has spent a long time on her own and had to deal with lifes major challenges alone. I have a very time, labour and stress intensive job that isn’t your usual 9 to 5 kind of job. I have a very strong work ethic also. My job is in the public service so it is quite inappropriate that I am on my phone all day. I go to bed and get up at what I feel are reasonable times. I am a member of a couple of singles and friendship groups on Facebook and contribute when I can, usually in the evening. I am finding that men from those groups only want to talk to me late at night, the early hours of the morning or during my work day. Frankly I just can’t answer messages at those times of the day and I enjoy my job so much I just don’t want to. I can be quite direct but I don’t want to be rude to them. Honestly they are just not getting the message that I don’t have all the time in the world to talk to them. I attract men who I believe are doormats, unemployed, unmotivated or non monogamous and only want sex and I am just not interested in those types of men. I know the type of man who works hard and isn’t on his phone all hours of the day is the kinda man I’m looking for so I’m unlikely to find them in a Facebook group but I’m ok with that. I’m not in desperate need for a man either. I’ve become quite comfortable on my own, which isn’t necessarily a good thing but I survive. I’m looking for a true partner in life or crime so to speak and for that I’m willing to wait. I have tried to set boundaries with the men I talk to but feel I am repeating myself all the time. I seem to attract clingy, needy men and I just don’t do clingy and desperate. I guess I want to know, how do I break the cycle of attracting these men and how to I attract the kind of man I’m looking for. Am I being too harsh to these men who just won’t get the message.

Thank you for your question

You have asked me a lot here even though it might feel like it is a short question. It is actually the question I answer in my book Stop Kissing Toads – Pucker up and find your handsome prince and it took me 30,000 words to answer it.


When we are attracted to someone there is a lot going on. There is the pheremones we give off, or our own individual hormonal smell, and that we are attracted to which sit in our unconscious, and there are the hormones such as domamine adrenaline and seratonin that go off in our head. We don’t have a lot of control over these aspects of attraction other than being aware of them. What I advise is enjoy every moment of it but don’t get carried away. Then there are our own unconscious patterns of thinking that can cause us to choose partners who enable us to resolve unconscious patterns of grief embedded in our unconscious mind.


A lot of people think that they fall in love with their father when they choose their partner and get confused when their partner doesn’t look like their father or even behave like their father. Our unconscious mind doesn’t think about gender. What you need to think about is – who in your mind do you think you had a difficult relationship with growing up? What were the characteristics of that relationship, how did you feel – what was the emotional landscape of the relationship. This is what you need to be thinking about and bringing these thoughts and feelings into your conscious mind. Then when you find yourself feeling those familiar feelings and thinking those familiar thoughts you can take steps to interrupt what is going on for you and make a different choice.


Reading your question, I feel as though you are conflicted as to whether you want someone in your life. You have a demanding job, and you are restricted on when you can speak to a potential partner and that is fair enough. Then, however you talk about where you are meeting guys, that you are meeting them in facebook groups, that you know it is unlikely you will find the type of guy you are looking for there, but thats ok. I wonder if something is playing out here where you are looking for a man in all the wrong places so you wont find one. I want you to remember that whatever your decision we are all pre-programmed to want to have someone in our lives and I talked about this extensively in another question I answered – Is it OK to be Fine with Being Single. The key to being successfully single is recognising that we all feel that drive to be in a relationship, managing those feelings and making healthy relationship choices.


I understand that you recognise that a lot of the men you are attracting aren’t partner material according to your definition. Thats good. It is important to recognise when someone is not the right person for you. I am wondering though about whether you have set up very stringent rules based on past hurt that are effectively keeping everyone out. When your boundaries are too tight, and this can happen if we struggle to be in a relationship with someone it becomes too hard to find someone because nobody measures up. Remember nobody is perfect, and you can love someone even if they aren’t exactly your ideal.


I think you need to think about what it is that you are looking for in a partner and whether you are being realistic. I also think you need to think about whether you actually want a life partner. Are you looking for a partner in all the wrong places so you don’t actually find one? or to appease those feelings you have that tell you that you “should’ have a partner because family, society or our wiring tells you that being single isn’t ok? If you decide that you do want a partner be mindful of the things I have told you about your partner choice, but also give yourself a fighting chance to find someone. If Facebook isn’t the right place think about whether you might join a club or pursue a hobby and get to know lots of people in real life. I know you love your job and thats great, but it is also important to have a work life balance, otherwise that job you love will burn you out. As much as work is fun and it can seem like you can have a relationship with it that is uncomplicated and rewarding, your job is only as good as your next pay check and you can be left very high and dry by a career.

Big Love

Elizabeth R-J


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