Chicago Sun Times - Bela Gandhi urges women to reconsider their requirements

Bela Gandhi urges women to reconsider their requirements

Most of my date coaching clients come to our first session with a dating checklist — a list of desires they want in their mates. I love lists; they’re a great way to focus your search. But having coached hundreds of singles nationwide, what I’ve found is that many women who are unhappily single have been working off the wrong lists. They spend their dating energy looking for men who are impressive on paper, and that their friends will envy: tall, devastatingly handsome, super-smart, charming and wealthy. For years, these women bounce from “impressive” man to man, ignoring many red flags of unavailability along the way, and ending up a few years older, with a heart that needs mending each time. For these women to find love, a major, even seismic dating shift is necessary.

The big change that brings love success is prioritizing men based on what I call “Good Husband Qualities.” Men who have high GHQs tend to be reliable, loyal, generous, honest, smart and cute; in other words, great long-term partner material. Can they be “impressive” in a traditional sense? Absolutely. However, the key point is that high-GHQ men “show” their character consistently versus speaking empty words and breaking promises. High-GHQ men are everywhere, and I guarantee my clients that their high-GHQ guy will arrive in different packages than they expect.

Take Jen: 39, pretty, 5-foot-6 and successful. More than anything, Jen wanted to get married and have kids, and felt her clock ticking. Her dating checklist over the past ten years had been “tall, Ivy-league educated and doctor/lawyer/banker.” No GHQs anywhere on her list. As a result, she had been lied to, cheated on and let down 50 different ways by the good-on-paper guys. After a few weeks of counseling, the light bulb switched on for Jen, and she was ready to jump back into the dating pool with her new high-GHQ goggles. After going on 13 dates over a six-week period, a friend introduced her to Dean at a party. He was charismatic, funny and worked in real estate. He was also 5-foot-6 — someone she wouldn’t have given a second glance to before. Dean was “quirky-cute,” and a bit on the stocky side with a receding hairline — and yet Jen somehow found herself giddy when he called her the next day for a date. Dean fell hard and fast for Jen, and to Jen’s complete surprise, she was smitten. Tall? Nope. Harvard? Nope. Doctor? Nope. High GHQs? Yes. Cute to her? Absolutely. He made her feel safe, secure and attractive. He called when he said he would, brought her out with his friends, introduced her to family, helped her move offices and promised that after six months of dating, they would get engaged. Almost one year to the day after they met, they were married. Now, at 41 years old, Jen has a husband and a beautiful seven-month-old son.

If I haven’t convinced you yet of the need for high GHQs vs. traditional dating requirements, then consider this: The average American male is between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-9. And pretty much all of the women I work with prefer starting their online dating height requirement at 5-foot-10.

Ladies, review your checklists for 2013, and remember to put on your high-GHQ goggles if you want to find love, once and for all.

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