Interview With Mara Fisher - How To Win a Man's Heart

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December 27, 2014

Interview With Mara Fisher

1. A common problem that we hear often from our subscribers is a feeling of being inadequate and unworthy especially as they age. Women feel anxious and stressed as they compare their bodies and looks to the younger women and unfortunately believe they aren’t able to attract men into their lives because they aren’t physically attractive. Some of our subscribers confess that they hate their bodies and feel undesirable and unattractive whenever they look in the mirror.

Can you share your advice on what women can do to shift their negative self-talk and how they can be more self-accepting and start loving their bodies?

As a society, we place such an enormous significance on the number of our age, especially as women. How we feel about our age and our looks as we get older go hand-in-hand— many women feel uncomfortable with both.

Firstly, it’s important to consider it from a perspective of experience. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. Sometimes, we confuse it for wanting to be in a different stage of our earlier lives. We were thinner, younger and more beautiful; so many physical characteristics we hold so dear and lament when we grow and change over time.

Secondly, an inordinate focus on physical attractiveness is what creates a major dilemma in our society; ageism takes away from the power and beauty of growing older. Many are afraid that our ability to be as quick and spry as we once were mentally or physically will be noticed by colleagues, bosses and other people in our workplace and lives.

Aging is one characteristic that the everyday person has in common with celebrities. How many times have we heard a story where a celebrity was no longer considered for a role because they were ‘past their prime’? They were no longer perceived as being a popular, ageless figure. We begin to believe that if these powerful people can experience these problems why wouldn’t it happened to us?

Similarly, we then watch them strive, but rarely find, solace in changing their physical appearance to be more palatable to the public. The major problem with this is not the alteration of the way that they look. It’s the fear that growing older is something to stave off or be self-conscious about instead of something to celebrate.

Outside of the physical, we then find, that we miss experiences or relationships that we had in the past. Instead of focusing on what is now and a little bit of what’s ahead, we find ourselves holding onto things that only hold us back. To experience full joy is to live in the present moment. To cherish each breath, to make the most of your current wisdom and appreciate the wisdom of all of your years.

It’s easy to remember the good times we had in the past, what we tend to forget, is the challenges that changed us; the troubles that made us strong— the situations that turned us into the people that we are now. Those characteristics can be seen on our outward appearance; every age line, every early gray, is a badge of our courage to have survived every day thus far. They’re a testament to our tenacity and our ability to grow.

Next time you look in the mirror, try a change of perspective on the perception of your current self. Allow yourself to feel whole in your soul instead of trapped in the age or vision of your vessel. This life is short and precious, every bit counts, there isn’t one reason to waste our ability to truly experience every moment of our lives—especially in be sorrowful for growing older and wiser.

2. Some of our subscribers feel stuck in their love lives because of their past emotional baggage. This affects them in a number of ways- they either tend to compare the next man they are dating with their ex or they have trust issues because they have been cheated on before or they just cannot seem to forget their ex and move on in life. What are some practical ways that can help women release their past emotional baggage so that they can start attracting healthy love into their lives?

Especially when it comes to romance, many women hold so very tightly on to trying to keep in control of their own emotional needs in the relationship. Trust issues, personal insecurity, and other nagging problems arise—and we don’t know how to put them away. When we’re not whole within ourselves, it’s easy to allow outside influences to guide our journey, resigning to unhappiness or uncertainty.

Not setting healthy boundaries with those we care about, however, allows them to unintentionally interfere with our personal wellness; affecting us more then we know. Our ability to problem solve is sacred, not shared. So why do we find this idea to be so difficult?

Instead of building healthy boundaries many times we just schlep around our emotional baggage. While spiritual and emotional boundaries are important for our own health, creating strength from within, baggage allows us to hide by building walls. When we realize this, we can cultivate better relationships— within ourselves and our partner.

Love and support from others creates a sense of accomplishment and wholeness within our life. We believe that in order to be loving humans we need to be open. Being open is wonderful, but we have to be mindful of the personal ramifications of giving our power to others—you’re a better partner when you’re true to yourself

Now it’s time to practice—build your boundaries, but watch for your baggage. Allow your significant other the opportunity to be present in your life, without being responsible for you. Building up this reciprocal respect of our personal boundaries not only strengthens love; but also creates peace within us to let go of the past and be happy.

3. One popular concern that our subscribers have is regarding sharing their feelings with the man they are dating. What we typically find is that when women like the man they are seeing, they tend to avoid bringing up difficult issues and tough conversations because they fear they might lose him. So what they generally tend to do is that they keep it to themselves and give the impression that things are just fine. For example, they have a fantastic date with a man and he says he will call after a few days. They wait, wait and wait to be disappointed that he didn’t follow up as he said he would. But they are happy when they eventually hear back from him and don’t share how they really felt during the no contact period.

What would your advice be for women who have the fear that sharing feelings and emotions will drive a man away and make them come across as someone clingy and needy?

First and foremost timing is crucial as to when you share your thoughts and feelings with a person you are dating.

Secondly, be aware of what your expectations are and ask yourself if they are realistic. Sometimes we can expect too much from a person at any stage of a relationship, and when we first meet and are dating, low expectations are best. In genera, l as a rule of thumb, expectations can and will get us into trouble in any relationship.

Thirdly, consider your purpose in sharing your thoughts and feelings with this person that you have just met and do not know very well, no matter how good a time you had on your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or even a 4th date. Ask yourself what outcome you are in want of by sharing your thoughts and feelings with him. If you stay on purpose you are much more likely to get the outcome you want.

The important thing to think about is whether the sharing of these emotions is appropriate. An example would be if after a first date a man says “he will call in a few days,” and that turns into two weeks. When he does call, sharing your disappointment of that might be considered poor timing.

As a relationship develops, deepening your understanding of each other, sharing feelings and emotions are crucial to a healthy and happy relationship.

At the heart of this question are our perceptions and judgments of our own feelings. If we fear that expressing our feelings will drive a man away, we are dishonoring ourselves. Being authentic in your perception will build your confidence, allowing you to find the kind of man you are looking for. You might want to ask yourself if you would want a man who did not want to know how you feel.

4. From our subscribers, we often hear “lack of chemistry” as a leading reason why they aren’t willing to go out on a second date with a man even though he seemed to be a decent guy and they were comfortable and treated with respect during the first date. Can you share your thoughts on chemistry- how important is it for a relationship to succeed long term and can chemistry grow over time? Is it worth persisting with a man with whom a woman feels comfortable but doesn’t quite share the chemistry?

Attraction is an important part of intimacy, which is what most people mean when they use the term chemistry. A first date is just an introduction to a person’s immediate personality— take them at face value. If you’re interested in what they have to say and feel respected and comfortable, that’s an important and positive first step.

Think of the situation reflexively, wouldn’t you want someone to give you a few opportunities to make a good impression? Nervousness, self-consciousness, and other self-sabotaging scenarios can hinder what may be an underlying connection—if you’re comfortable, give the date another chance.

It’s important to note, how much chemistry you feel on a first date will not in any way determine what kind of sexual relationship you will have in a long-term relationship with a partner. In order to want to have sex with a man, you will want to feel a chemistry or attraction, however just because you do not feel it right away, it doesn’t mean it won’t develop over time turning into a great relationship.

If you’re not feeling a spark after the first date, but still share similar interests and values to your own, try my “six-date rule”. If you’re still not feeling connected, it’s probably time to move on. For many women, chemistry grows as they get to know a person. As the connection progresses, you may find yourself swayed from the initial uncertainty, feeling a deeper desire for this individual.

There will always be personal differences and desires in our sexual relationship; the key is to find the balance. Keep in mind that all people, regardless of gender, have different sex drives. It’s important to have open communication with your partner to best serve both your individual and collective needs. As you begin to experience a strong sexual connection, the chemistry you feel will begin to flourish and help to create a long healthy relationship.

The honeymoon phase, which spans anywhere from six months to one and a half years, will feel full and exciting. After that point, desire for sex for most couples slows down but the chemistry will remain. Allow yourself to be open and communicative from the beginning, that will help to create a solid foundation of understanding.

Lastly, before you continue down the path of dating, it’s imperative to make sure you have a good sense of self. Know what you’re looking for, what your boundaries are and what you bring to the table. Happiness begins internally—understanding who you are and what you want long-term will help you attract Mr. Right instead of Mr. Right Now.

5. Some experts recommend women wait till they get to know the man they are dating and not have sex until you both are committed to exclusivity. Some experts believe you should go with the flow and be spontaneous and not have any rules regarding when you want to sleep with a man. Can you share your thoughts on the right time to have sex especially if the woman is interested in pursuing a long term committed relationship?

This is a complex question, because when it comes to issues like sex, it’s completely subjective. It depends upon the person, the answer can only be right for them personally. Becoming open and honest with yourself is the only way to make this determination—and it’s easier to do than you may think.

Most women aren’t sure how to feel about jumping into sex with a new partner. They ask their close girlfriends or other women in their life for advice or reassurance on when it should happen instead of relying on the answers within their own system of beliefs.

It starts with what you’ve been taught; your internal values that you’ve developed over time. Find what feels comfortable for you, and that’s the best way to handle your sexual exploration with a new partner.

When you’re ready to become sexually active with a partner, consider common pitfalls that women fall into such as; ‘try to determine if there is chemistry’ or to ‘satiate an initial impulse’. The worst of all is using sex to hopefully ensure the relationship continues with thoughts like “If I do this, he will love me and want me forever.” Or the flipside, “If I do not do this he will love me and want me forever.” Life just does not offer guarantees. It comes down to your values, your beliefs and your sex drive.

The generation you were born into will also have a profound effect upon what your values and beliefs about having sex will be— make sure to take this into account when you’re examining why you feel the way you do about the subject.

The truth is yours and yours alone. If you’re comfortable with what is happening in the situation, that’s all that matters. Your values and beliefs are personal and important; cherish them and let them lead you in your decision. It’s not about whether or not you want a long-term relationship; there is no guarantee that if you do or do not have sex, you’ll end up committed—remember that— it’s about what empowers you and resonates with your principles.

6. Some of our subscribers have the tendency to ignore and overlook the red flags especially when they really like a man. In the process, they create an idealized version of the man and overestimate the feelings he has for them. For women who have a history of fantasizing and idealizing a partner, what can they do to evaluate the man and their relationship for what it is truly worth rather than what they ideally like it to be?

Our ideas are shaped by the way we perceive the world around us—our friends, family, movies and TV, to name a few. It’s easy to idealize things, especially romance and relationships—and when we do, we lose perspective of what’s real and what we’ve imagined or hoped to be true.

Most women have grown up reading fairy tales. It does not matter if you grew up in the U.S. or abroad, fairy tales about romance are a worldwide childhood staple and in all the ones that I can think of, the prince saves the princess from peril and they ride off on his horse into the sunset.

The assumption is that they live a happy, joyful life together; of course no one actually has any idea of what that happy life looks/sounds or feels like, as that is never explained—there is just the mask of happiness—hiding whatever really exists behind.

That being said, many women grow up with the notion that any man they fall for is going to be ‘Prince Charming’ and so they fantasize and idealize these men. Often women cannot see who the man really is, as they are trapped in their own idealized fantasy; thinking that their beliefs about the man are accurate.

Often, women unconsciously believe that if they stopped fantasizing and idealizing men something would be wrong with them—after all that is what they have been taught in the fairy tales as truth. The fear is that the men won’t be whom we’ve built them up to be, which will lead to heartbreak.

The first step in letting go of the part of you that is fantasizing and idealizing your partner is to let go of the shame or embarrassment you may be holding about fantasizing and idealizing. By letting go you are not only empowering yourself, you are also taking responsibility for the choices you are making.

Step two is to make two lists. I have my clients who are looking for good partners do this. One list is of 50 traits/behaviors you do not want in a life partner, the other list is 50 things you most definitely do want in a life partner.

Step three is to then and only then list 11 (not 10 not 12 but 11) traits or behaviors that you absolutely are unwilling to live without in a life partner.

Step four is key. Be willing to stop the relationship if you find that the person you are dating or in relationship with is missing one of these 11 traits/behaviors, regardless of how long you have been in relationship with him.

When you start to focus on what’s important to you like the desired characteristics of your partner and make them non-negotiable —you’ve changed the playing field. It’s no longer about being a damsel-in-distress observer; you’re taking on a new role by being an active participant in your life; able to determine your own happiness. When you let go of the idea of Prince Charming; there behind that façade, you may just actually find the perfect partner.

7. Another common problem we hear from our subscribers is the fear of being alone and never finding the right man. This is especially common as women enter into their thirties. They see their friends getting married and even having kids, they are asked by friends and family when they are going to get married and they feel the pressure of a ticking biological clock. In the process, they approach their relationships from a place of fear. worry and anxiety.

Instead of enjoying their dates and conversing with men, they tend to interrogate them so that they can stop wasting their time and weed off the wrong men. They tend to fall too hard and too fast in love when they find a man they like but often that scares men away.

What advice do you have for women who approach relationships from a place of worry and how can they shift from a clingy, desperate vibe to an empowered, joyful zone?

When on a date with a man you like and are considering, as husband material ‘charging neutral’ energetically is the vibe that you want to be giving off.

Neutral energy is the key to not scaring a potential suitor away. Even a wonderful woman with the best of intentions can scare away a man that otherwise would have connected well with her. If you’re anxious or worrisome it will show. Charging neutral energy and being in the moment when you are on a date, or even right now, will assist you in finding not only a soul mate but someone that understands you, loves you and shares your values.

Try this:

Visualize a box or basket and ask your anxiety and worries to go into a beautiful box, tie the box up with a delightfully colored ribbon and place it upon your shelf or in your closet.

Tell your anxiety and worries that you will speak with them when you come home from your date so that they will not feel neglected and when you come home make certain to say ‘hello’ to them.

This is a simple anxiety reducing technique that really does work. You will find that you are able to enjoy the date you are on and the man you are with. You will be able to get to know him naturally without interrogating him to see if he is the ‘right’ one. He will get to know your values, your sense of humor, all of the wonderful characteristics that make you unique.

A prevalent issue, especially for women in their thirties, is they often compare themselves to their friends— this exists, too, for women of all ages. Women in general are taught to compete with other women for men in our society.

When a woman is feeling lesser than her friends whom are getting married, having children, or already have done one or both— ask yourself what is your motivation for wanting marriage and children. Is it just because that is what you think you ‘should be’ doing, or is it what you value and want for your life now?

Relationship building has its own rhythm and being respectful of that rhythm is the way to develop and grow a happy, healthy marriage down the road. In a marriage there are three participants, you, him and the relationship—yes, it actually has a life of its own.

Understanding the progression of a relationship, and its presence in your life, is vital in finding your soul-mate, because if you catapult from the beginning stage to the middle stage in order to avoid the anxiety of the first step you are not allowing the relationship to unfold naturally— ending in lack of confidence, frustration, or other negative feelings that effect our ability to attract the right person.

The pace has to be accepted and embraced by both parties. It’s not fair to make the man your dating feel led by your personal desires for a long-term commitment. If this is the case, irreparable damage is being done and success is less certain.

The urge to jump from the beginning stage is very common amongst women and men who want to feel as if they have control over their future. It’s true; you DO, and can, control the choices you make in your life. What you cannot control is how another person, the man you are dating, feels about you or handles his individual life and decisions.

Enjoy getting to know the person you’re dating; if it does progress to a long-term relationship you will have built a strong foundation for your future.

8. Our subscribers also run into a situation where things are going great and just when they think the relationship has great potential or feel he is the one, the man starts developing cold feet. He pull away, doesn’t respond to phone calls or text messages and in some cases disappears for a while. What advice do you have for women who deal with men that suddenly pull away and act inconsistent?

Our perception of where a relationship is, is just that, perception. The other person may not share our feelings and, many times, women are blindsided by that fact— focusing on wishful thinking instead of looking at the situation with a certain level of practicality. When you think the relationship has great potential or feel he is ‘the one,’ the man may sense this and be put off or uncomfortable. If he doesn’t feel in the same place in the relationship, he may feel rushed about the possibility of being trapped. These are all signs that he has a negative interpretation of how you’re approaching the relationship timeline.

It’s dangerous to jump from the first phase of the relationship into the middle phase to avoid the anxiety of not knowing for certain where the relationship is going. He may be in phase one; enjoying dating and getting to know you, while you’re already planning a wedding in your head. If he senses this, it might scare him off before he even gets to know the real you. Losing out on a potentially great mate because your panic pushed you too far.

Women, in our culture in particular, have been taught to analyze and mind read what is going on with a man rather than asking. Asking puts a woman in a vulnerable space where she might be rejected, in turn, she falls back on that same self-sabotage by coming to her own conclusions. Even sometimes less helpful, she’ll start analyzing the relationship with a friend, who’s advice really doesn’t matter, as it’s not her union to have an opinion on. Self-reliance and good personal decision-making are keys for long-term success with a partner.

It’s important to note, asking to have a conversation about the relationship is often an alarm signal to a man. It is best if you do this by working it into the natural flow of conversation rather than saying ‘Hey, I would like to have a conversation.’ If you say the latter, most men will tense up and ‘get ready’ for doom—maybe even putting himself in a more negative mindset that he would otherwise be.

Open, clear, well thought out communication is key, even in the beginning. It is a poor idea to ever ignore someone’s actions; it’s an indicator of their wishes, hopes, desires and fears. If you’re not sure why they’re reacting in a certain way, simply ask them using the tip above.

When you understand the tools from the beginning, it makes it a much more comfortable ride on this new journey with a new partner. Both of you will feel self-assured, relaxed and happy if you follow a less stressful strategy, focused on having fun, getting to know each other and appreciating the person in the now. If the relationship does in fact last long term, you wouldn’t want to miss great memories because you were most concerned with how bright the future seemed. Live in the moment and enjoy it!

9. In your experience, what are the attributes that men are looking for in a woman and what makes a woman wife material?

These are two very distinct and separate questions. If a man is looking to have fun and date he may be looking for very different attributes in a woman than if he is in the market for a wife. It’s important for women to understand this, as many times, they want to be the wife, but because they want the man to find them desirable, so they take on the dating attributes to win his affection.

The man who wants a woman to date will being looking, mostly, for someone to have fun with. Instant sexual attraction, good chemistry, possibly an adventurous personality and definitely a woman who is sexual—these are all things he could potentially be looking for.

He may enjoy a woman who dresses a bit sexier than he would want in a woman whom he would marry. He will probably not be fussy about her religion or nationality either. He also will not care about her education level or aspirations in life. She can have very different values than him as long as she is sexual, fun and very attractive to him, that’s enough for a casual dating relationship for mean.

When a man is in search of a life partner someone to grow old with, someone to possibly have children with, it becomes a very different story.

He will often seek someone with a similar background. His pick will very likely be a woman of the same faith, culture or ethnicity— essentially, someone who shares his interests, values and beliefs. He will want her to be beautiful in his eyes, not necessarily in the eyes of others and he’ll want her to make him laugh.

Because he is seeking a deeper, more meaningful connection with her, he will look for someone who is caring, thoughtful, selfless, understanding, reliable, loyal and yes sexual. It sounds like a lot right? It is. When looking for a mate, the desired attributes for men and women are similar, although the process may be quite different.

The key for women is to be comfortable in their own skin, without feeling the need to conform or mold their person into what one particular man is looking for. When you understand yourself, others see that you’re confident, strong, and independent. That will attract a man that will truly love you for all that you are.

10. What are your top 3 relationship tips that you would offer women who are single and looking for a long term committed relationship?

1. Find places and things to do that you enjoy where there are lots of people and make certain these are activities men also do; maybe a tennis match, concert, or museum—unisex things. Do not join a knitting group or a book club, as men do not usually do these types of gatherings. Do the kinds of things you are interested in that you also believe attract many men. This will allow you to meet many more men than you would otherwise. When you do meet men, be friendly and approachable. Men are just as anxious as you are about being rejected.

2. Take your time in getting to know the man you are dating and, most importantly, be yourself during the process and let go of expectations during phase one of a potential relationship, this, in turn, will more likely lead to long-term success. On the average it takes people about two years to really have a strong honest true sense of each other. As you grow together, ask yourself what traits you want him to have and what traits you do not want him to have. Kindness is key; everything else is up to the individual. Evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses and progress as a unit.

3. Be wary of dating apps. The men who use these are primarily looking for sex only. If you are going to use online dating websites, have a professional photo of you taken, one full body one just your face. Look respectable, friendly, warm, rather than sexy. Be honest in your profile about what your values are; be truthful about what you want in life. If you post about yourself on social media, only post positive things. Never post anything about sex, and do not post pictures of you that are sexual, as that will attract men whom are just looking for fun.

About Mara Fisher

My career as a licensed psychotherapist, master certified coach and mentor has grown out of a gift of intuition – which I’ve been aware of since childhood – and a natural inclination for using that gift to help empower others.

Guiding and coaching feel as adventurous to me as the way I have lived my life. Born in New York City, I took European trips in my youth and have lived in England, France and New Mexico in the United States. I believe that the boldness and confidence I have gained through taking risks and expanding boundaries have contributed to my personal and professional successes, and I love seeing the joy in my clients when they find the courage to challenge themselves and transform their lives.

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