“If it continues, I am going to end up like Bridget Jones, alone with my cat”. And the one who never had this thought cross her mind can throw her jar of face cream at us. A long bachelorhood, relations bound to fail, ghosting, Tinder dates that turns into a fiasco… Finding Mr. Right is not easy. Psychotherapist and coach, author of the book Le grand amour, se préparer à la rencontre (ed. Odile Jacob), Géraldyne Prévot-Gigant helps women of all ages and all horizons to regain confidence in themselves and find true love. This pro of relationships, receives women for individual sessions or during Speaking Groups that she animates once a week. We asked for her advice.
It’s when you least expect it that it happens. True or false ?
True and false! If you do nothing, you cannot complain you have found no one. But if your obsession is meeting the ideal man, you risk making men run away. In my book, I make an essential point: the relation of a couple enables to complete an already very satisfying existence. Living solo or as a couple must not have any influence on your joy of life. If being alone makes you desperately unhappy, then there is something to work on.
My advice ? Start by appreciating your freedom, be open about life. You will be all the more attractive if you are radiant.
“I always fall in love with stingy guys, how to reverse the spiral ?”, Noémie, 28-years-old
“Love redux” happens very often. It pinpoints a problem that you carry with you, without even being aware of it. Unconsciously, you will always choose men who are unavailable or with whom things will not work out (cheapskate, bastards, losers…). It’s a process of auto sabotage, that can only be resolved by a therapy. You cannot manage it alone, the unconscious is too overwhelming and influent.
“In my early thirties, a cool job and still no serious man. What’s wrong with me ?” Aurélie, 33-years-old
You are going to have to dig deep inside you (your story, your unconscious) to find out if certain elements are blocking you psychologically. Maybe you are not aware of the image you send out, either you put yourself down or you come across as so sure of yourself that you give the impression you need no one, which is not true at all—result, the men all run away from you.
And more generally, you must also take into account the current social context, that is branded with strong relational mutations between men and women. Between the advent of feminism and the scandals of sexual harassment, men no longer know where they should draw the line. It does not help!
“I come across as being too exacting. Should I reduce my expectations, even if it entails going out with someone I don’t really like?” Laura, 30-years-old
In terms of self-respect, you should NEVER lower your aspirations. It would mean putting a damper on who you are and what you want. Either the person appeals to you and you want to get to know them, or it’s a buddy. Some people by fear of being alone think they should lower their standards and get involved in relationships that do not correspond to them at all. What a waste of time! And in running, they might loose a few feathers.
However if you have an ideal encounter in mind, which is absolutely not in keeping with reality, you will never be satisfied, because what you are looking for does not exist.
Dating websites or apps, for or against?
At the beginning, I was against these 2.0 love solutions. I could only see the relation to the object that creates a false man/woman relationship. I have evolved on the subject. If it helps you gain self-confidence and come out of your solitude, be aware of your power of seduction and capacity of choosing, why not. But in that case, you must be honest with yourself as to what you are looking for. Whether it’s quick adventures or serious relationships, things must really be clear. And keep in mind that you could very well run into a toxic guy. You must learn how to protect yourself.
In the end, I remain persuaded that so called “natural” encounters, are the best solution.
Where and how to make encounters “in real life”?
Most of the women I accompany meet their companion in everyday life. Example ? On holidays, at friends, during a cultural activity, and why not on their doorstep, when a new neighbour moves in, for example.
The other day, in my speaking group for women, one of the participants was explaining that after having tried everything (including encounter sites), she finished by finding the ideal man by going to pick up her son at his sports class. She had already run into him when dropping off some papers. One day, he happened to be alone at his office. From the way he looked at her, she understood that he found her charming. Something happened. Suddenly she felt alive. Morality of the story, keep your eyes peeled at all times!
A target in sight. How to launch the machine ?
First, make sure he is a little interested, which will avoid being turned down ! A man who wants to be with you is going to find occasions to see you. Watch the way he behaves, his gaze, the intonation of his voice, his body language are all indicative sources. Develop your sense of observation
Then, as a woman of today, you should learn how to take the first step because most men no longer know how to get the message across to women whom they like. They are afraid of being taken for sexual predators—it’s very complicated for the— they are afraid of being misjudged.
But careful, if you do everything for them, they will feel useless,—and that can make them run away. Men must play their role. Send him a real signal, eye-to-eye for example, to make him understand that he can invite you to come have a drink or for lunch. But always give them the possibility of flirting with you.
The question is establishing the notion of equality between men and women. Equal does not mean you should do the man’s job. Each side shuld be able to express their dimension of masculine and feminine while respecting the other. On this point, Germans have a head start. Over there, men don’t flirt openly, they don’t look at women the same way. It’s very seductive. In France, we are slowly moving towards this kind of relation.
Géraldyne Prévot-Gigant has a blog. She can receive you during one-hour individual sessions (€120) and/or Groupes de Paroles pour les Femmes, talk group that she organises once a week (€55 for 3h).
Le grand amour, se préparer à la rencontre, (Love with a big L, getting ready for the encounter) by Géraldyne Prévot-Gigant, published by Odile Jacob.