Through the years, we’ve all been taught to be good girls – but what if this advice has made us less confident in ourselves? Join us in conversation with dating coach Lisa Copeland who knows what it means to be a good girl of great value. Enjoy the show!
My guest today is Lisa Copeland. Lisa is a dating coach for women over 50, and for years she’s been helping her clients find the quality men of their dreams. Today she’s here to discuss some of the issues that women in their 60s face when they’re getting back into dating. Welcome, Lisa.
Hi, Margaret. It’s so nice to be here with you again. I really like what I do because finding love at this time of life is really exciting.
We’ve got everything organized in this time of our lives. We’ve worked hard, and now we’re trying to retire and travel. But the one thing we find missing is male energy. We don’t necessarily want a lover in our lives. We might want to have a friend to chat with over a cup of coffee.
Today’s topic is about the philosophy of the good girl. For all of our lives we were looking after people, being kind and sweet. That’s all good and well, but can it get in the way of developing the characteristics that might attract men to us? And could that stop us from being interested in a man?
That’s a great question. Good girls tend to bend over backwards to please everybody. They turn themselves inside out, and often give up on what they want, for the sake of others. They do it for children and grandchildren, or homeless people on the street, but rarely for themselves.
That’s the so called “good girl syndrome.” But, as we age, we come to a place in our lives where it’s really important to start giving to ourselves in many, many ways. We need to start to nurture ourselves instead of going downhill.
Oftentimes though, we get in these ruts where we start to settle for less than what we want because we think we can’t have it. But age cannot be a deterrent to that, nor should not be trying to please the world. A lot of people tell me, “My kids don’t think I should date,” or “My kids don’t like my boyfriend,” etc. That’s the problem.
You’re right. We have asked permission all our lives, and we’ve been told many things aren’t appropriate for women and we shouldn’t do them. We just took to believing that it’s true. I think it’s super hard to develop those qualities of confidence and positivity when it comes to our own wants and needs.
We’re just not taught to give to ourselves, and because of that, we lose ourselves. When you’re in a relationship, you become so intertwined with your man that you tend to forget who you truly are. Even strong, independent women, because of the good girl syndrome, give themselves up.
So, we come out of a marriage or a relationship, and we don’t know ourselves anymore. We know what our society expects, we know what our children expect, but we need to listen to ourselves and ask, “What do I want at this time of my life?”
Obviously, self-confidence is really important. What other qualities do you encourage your clients to develop that you think are necessary for dating after 50?
Well, second most important is getting rid of limiting beliefs. I had a prospective client say to me yesterday, “I think I’ve passed my prime to be loved by a man again.” She was 53! Others such thoughts are: “Older men are the only ones that will want me,” or, “I hate online dating.” When you have those beliefs, they tend to show up in your life.
I’ve noticed that when I go out into the world, feeling comfortable in my skin even if I haven’t combed my hair, people notice it. They actually smile when you don’t make a big deal about it. You’re you. And it’s like the words “never” and “should” don’t belong in your life anymore.
Exactly. When you have those limiting beliefs, life becomes dreary. The second half of life is the time when you are not financially responsible for your children as they get out of college and hopefully support themselves.
Also, now you have freedom that seemed unattainable when you were younger. Some women have financial resources, or a job, and you have time to do things. It’s a really exciting time that we can use to find ourselves and enjoy our life.
But because we get so scared of those limitations that make us think we’re not good enough, or we’re too old, it takes us down and we stop going after our dreams. Truthfully, getting what we want is scarier than doing nothing.
What you’re saying touches on the “not good enough” conversation. A lot of women tend to think, “I’m not rich enough,” “I’m not smart enough,” “I’m not pretty enough.” When that’s your view of yourself, you project it out into the world.
I’m an infamous people watcher, and I love observing couples on my travels. I’ve noticed that women – who are not gorgeous-looking by some sort of beauty standard – who have a man that adores them, give out a vibe that says, “I’m a cool person.” That’s how they view themselves and it pays off.
Such women don’t spend their time contemplating limiting beliefs that constrain them. They know who they are as a person, and that is enough for them. What do you think?
I think it’s important to have this feeling of worthiness within you, of knowing you can have whatever you want. Men love confident, independent women. That’s the number one thing that attracts them to you. And they love it when you make some time for them in your day.
They really don’t like being told what to do, where to do it, and how to do it, and they tend to run away from needy women. If you are in need of something, men can feel that from a mile away because you’re giving off a vibe that says, “I don’t have enough and I need you to take care of me.”
I think that the good girl syndrome has a lot to do with feeling that you’re not enough. Somehow you feel inferior to the person in front of you, and that makes you serve their desires and wishes and behave in a way that pleases them.
It probably starts when little girls are told to be good and sit quietly. I think you can break through that way of thinking and use the second half of your life to live in a way that pleases you.
Yes, exactly. Now is the time to give to you while still being a good girl. Giving to yourself first is one of the most unselfish things you can do because it reenergizes you to go after your dreams, and to give to others.
When we take ourselves out of the equation, we start thinking that our worth is in our over-giving, not in who we are. We think that if we give enough – to a man, a child, or a grandchild – they are going to love us more. This is a cycle in which you don’t want to get caught up, because giving doesn’t earn love.
Thank you for saying that. I see women in our community struggle with this concept about giving and love. Many of them love to give gifts so they would be considered a good friend. But in fact, they just appear as needy, and that what they’re giving would be expected back at some point.
Yes, and they feel that their values are rooted in how much they can help, not in who they are as a person. In this second half of your life it’s really important to reconsider this way of perceiving yourself. Learn to give to yourself first.
I know that will sound scary to some women because it’s the antithesis of the good girl. But as good girls you also need to give to yourself and know your value. That way you give from a place where you’re confident of your own worth.
To sum it up, be a kind, nice, wonderful and interesting person. Be a good girl by taking care of yourself and knowing yourself.
This is a lovely message. You have some great free resources on your website, and I would advise our community to check it out. I know you have an ebook on offer as well. What was it called?
It’s called 5 Little Known Secrets to Finding a Quality Man. This little ebook is great because it’s going to give you some really good ideas for jumpstarting your dating life and for knowing where men are.
That’s certainly a good place to start. I love having you here, Lisa. You always give us life tips to reinvent ourselves, to be confident with ourselves, to be happy in our second half of life – not just in connection to our relationships with men.
That’s what makes you attractive to other people – when you love, when you are happy and passionate.
You certainly are glowing! Thank you so much for your time, Lisa. We’ll talk again soon.
Thank you, Margaret.
Bye for now.
Do you suffer from the good girl syndrome? How has this affected your life? Do you think you can start taking care of yourself first, so that you become a vibrant person, before giving to others? Let’s have a chat! Please join the conversation below!