Mike: This is Mike Hennesy and on behalf of the team at LoveEvolveandThrive.com, I'd like to welcome you to today's interview with Tina Tessina.
Dr. Tessina is a licensed psychotherapist counseling individuals and couples for over 30 years and Chief Romance Officer for LoveForever.com.
She's also the author of 13 books in 16 languages including Money, Sex, and Kids, Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage as published by Adams media. Dr. Romance's Guide to Dating in the Digital Age in Love Styles. How to Celebrate Your Differences are also to her credit. Online she's known as Dr. Romance,
Dr. Tessina appears frequently on radio and such TV shows as Oprah. Larry King Live, and ABC News. To learn more about Dr. Tina visit her website at www.tinatessina.com.
Dr. Tessina, it's wonderful to have you with us today.
Dr. Tessina: Thank you, it's wonderful to be here. Appreciate being asked.
Mike: One of the most common questions we get asked by our subscribers is where can I find men to date?
And some of our subscribers especially as they enter their forties and above seem to have a hard time finding quality men. They don't seem to be interested in men that are interested in them and the men that they are interested in don't seem to be interested in them.
Some women are so turned off by the recent men they have dated that they lose hope and believe all the good men are taken. Some women of there age are only interested in younger women that are physically attractive.
Dr. Tina, I get the feeling that maybe some of those feelings are a little bit misplaced.
Can you give us some practical tips and some ideas about good places to find those good men who are out there?
Dr Tessina: I sure can.
The common thing to do these days is to look online for dating but that, in my opinion, doesn't work great for anybody and it really doesn't work for women over forty.
Because it's all advertising, it's all about being attractive and also you have no idea who you're going to get when you date online. It takes a long time to figure out who this person is you know once you do meet somebody.
So I believe in what I call the 'get a life' method of dating.
And the get a life method of dating is about having a good time, getting interested in things, going places where men will be but places that you're interested in where men will be and getting to know people, making friends, getting a social circle together.
When you do that then out of that social circle you'll make a connection. It doesn't matter so much how you look, it matters more what your personality is because somebody gets to see you in action, you get to see him in action and you get to build a relationship before you have to declare yourself as dating.
And that's a much better thing.
If you stop and think about it, dating is a really unrealistic ritual we have in our society because you're supposed to get together with a total stranger you know, a lot of money gets spent and you're supposed to figure out in this unrealistic atmosphere if this is a good person for you.
It's a very, very difficult thing to do.
And then there are all the glamorous expectations that have been put on it by Hollywood movies and TV shows and advertising and all that, that makes it even harder. So if you get down to a more normal life experience where you're meeting people and the way you do that is you follow your own interests.
Get yourself out of your house.
I know it sounds easy to be in you PJ's in front of the computer you know looking at profiles online but it's really not getting you anywhere. Get out of your house, get interested in things.
Find activities that are going on in your neighborhood, there's always plenty of them wherever you live, even if you live out in the country you can travel just a little bit to the nearest bigger community and find all kinds of options.
You can get together with people from church if you're interested in church and you'll find people who think like you do, who feel like you do, who you get to know by interacting with them. You can take classes, you can get involved in community events, community gardens if you like gardening go do community gardening because there are lots of men there.
And they are all interested in gardening and people in the community garden share their surplus vegetables and things and they donate surplus vegetable to charities and somebody has to do that, take the vegetables where they're going. So if you get involved in all that stuff you're going to meet people and you're going to get to know them as you meet them.
Yes they're going to be some me there that aren't eligible they're gay or they're married or they're whatever but there will be enough men that are eligible and because you two have something in common because you're interested in the same thing a spark will be there for you.
You already have a connection and it will be more important to the two of you sharing these things with each other than how people look. And how people look doesn't do anything to predict how well their relationship is going to go. But having a shared interest does a lot to predict that. You can take dancing lessons, you can take courses.
If you do that, if you take courses or you get involve in neighborhood clubs just look for ones that men are interested in. I live at the sea coast so here we have lots of kayaking classes and all kind of things you can do on boats and kayaking. Men are very interested in that. If women go along with that and they can see that you're a good sport and you like that sort of thing that goes a long way.
If you're not at the sea coast and you're inland there are plenty of things to do also.
I already mentioned gardening. You can take a cooking class, but take a cooking class that's geared toward men so that you know you get around some men who are doing that or do community volunteering where men are like, there's meals on wheels here and they need people to cook and people to pack meals and people to deliver and there's a lot of men there are very interested in doing this and driving the food around and all that.
You can get connected with people, in that case you'll get connected with people who are concerned about other people and have good heart. And right then and there you know because they're involved in this process. They have a good heart, and they've got good values and that's a really valuable thing for you.
There are farmers markets in almost every community these days and if you can get involved in the committee that puts them on there's a lot of men involved in that and if you like that sort of thing, if you're interested in cooking with fresh vegetables or the gardening part of it or whatever you'll find other people with similar interests.
You can get involved with pretty much anything.
You know horses if you like riding horses, you'll find men there. If you want to get involved with, like we have a big race week here and there's committees that put on all the stuff for the races. A lot of men involved in that.
So, but you have to start with your own heart, you have to figure out who am I and what do I want?
So I recommend an exercise that you can do where you imagine yourself going through a day in your life with a great partner.
Pick a work day and you know, how do you like to wake up in the morning?
Would you like to wake up with somebody?
Do you need a lot of alone time in the morning?
Are you a chatty Cathy in the morning?
You need someone who can handle talking early or do you need quiet time you just want to read your paper?
Figure out who you are when you wake up and what kind of a person would go well with that then go through the rest of the day.
Do you go off to work?
Does he go off to work?
Do you contact each other while you're at work?
This is your fantasy about what an ideal relationship would be so put some energy into it, get into the detail.
Figure out what it would be like to come home from work and have this person there.
What do you want to do?
Do you want to get into your sweats and hang out?
Do you want to go exercise?
Do you want to cook dinner together?
Do you want to just bring home take-out and hang out in front of the TV?
You know all those things are very personal, you have to figure out how you like it and then what kind of a guy would enjoy this with you and then you take it through a weekend day.
How do you get up?
What do you, are interested in doing?
How do you want to spend your time?
Are you very active?
Are you very relaxed?
You want to be low key?
Do you have a big social life and you want a lot of people around?
Do you pretty much keep to yourself and want things to be quiet?
All those things will point you to the right kind of man for you and once you understand that, once you have a clear picture of what you're really looking for and you've weaned yourself away from that romantic ideal that has been force fed to us by the media and fantasy books and advertising and movies and all that you know the handsome perfect guy with the money and all that stuff.
Once you wean yourself from that idea of a relationship and really start to look at what you would like to have for yourself.
What kind of a life do you want to have?
Maybe you're not so interested in money, that's the advertising ideal that's been pushed on us.
Maybe you're more interested in somebody who cares about other people, who cares about kids, who cares about the planet, who cares about the community and what's going on in the community.
So once you understand that you wean yourself away from that idea that's been forced on you and really figure out who you actually are and who you need you're going to have a much easier time finding that guy.
Because once you know what kind of a guy he is that will lead you to where that kind of guy will be.
Say you love kids and you want a life involved with kids, think about kids soccer or kids little league or something like that. There's all kinds of men around there. A lot of them are single parents and if you get involved in even just score keeping you don't have to be good at playing soccer but if you understand the game and you can keep score for the kids and you're going to get to meet you know all these Dads and guys who aren't even Dads but just like the sport and like being around kids and that's an easy way to meet somebody.
If you're into nature and keeping the planet healthy and you feel that's very important it's something you want to do you can get into a group in your community who are interested in creating parks. We have a great group in this community that I live in that does that. That makes sure that the city doesn't sell all the vacant land to developers and make sure there are parks there and there are a lot of men in those things because they are kind of political and men like them and you can get there and you can help out. You'd be doing something that's good for you, you could be making friends who are like minded and you can also be meeting men at the same time, that's the whole idea.
The basic idea is start from who you are, figure out what's important to you and then go from there to figure out what kind of a partner you really want.
What you want to share your time doing, I mean if you hate sports and he's glued to the TV watching sports all day it's not going to matter how handsome he is or how wealthy he is or anything else. You're not going to be happy in that relationship. If you are a sports nut then you can get involved in a booster club for the sports that you love most and boom you're going to find lots of men there.
So, it starts from who you are, what you love to do, what you want to bring into your life and then who the man is that would work well with that, that would be your match. The person that like what you like and wants to do what you do. It doesn't have to be 100%.
My husband and I, I've been married 33 years now my husband and I have a lot of differences.
I do things with friends that he doesn't want to do so we have a, also a lot of similarities and that's where our connection is.
The security and comfort in your relationship comes from the places where you're the same. The excitement and challenges come from your relationship comes from the places where you're different.
You need a mix of that because if it's too much the same then it gets boring and if it's too much of a challenge then it's exhausting. So you need a mix of there's plenty of things that we like to do together and we enjoy and that's fine and there's these places where we're a little different.
That's what you want to look for, you want to look for that man that's a lot like you but not totally like you.
If you go to these places where men are doing things that you're interested in. If you go some place where you're not interested, your lack of interest is going to show. It's okay to not be good at it or not be experienced at whatever it is because men love to show you how to do things.
So that's a great way to meet men, is go take a computer class and say I have no idea how to do this and whatever, you'll have men all over you trying to help you figure that out.
And in that group of men some of them going to be ineligible but there's going to be some that are eligible. So you find out who you are, what you want. You find the guy who wants similar things, whose interested in similar things and then you do that together and you get to know people.
If you're taking a class you don't sit in the back of the class all by yourself and ignore everybody. You ask people did you understand what the teacher was saying when they said this or that, or do you have the notes for that or did you catch you know do you want to work together on this project.
And then you get from there to let's go out for coffee and talk about this and the relation happens in what I call in an organic way. In a real life way.
So you develop your relationship in a way that feels real and feels good. I know you can do it, I know you can have doing it if you follow this method.
Just start from your heart and go forward, you'll get there.
Mike: Dr. Tina Tessina thank you so much for joining us today. Could you mention your website for us one more time?
Dr. Tessina: Sure my website is tinatessina.com, that's T-i-n-a T-e-s-s-i-n-a.com.
Mike: Well, thank you so much, This is Mike Hennessy and on behalf of the team at LoveEvolveandThrive.com, I would like to thank you for listening to our interview today.
For free tips and thoughts on relationship advice for women, from hundreds of experts and authors, please visit our website at www.LoveEvolveandThrive.com.