Deanne didn’t get married until she was 35, and then she turned around and divorced her husband after five years and two children. One day, Deanne sat across from me at lunch and bitterly complained there were no good men left, and she was stuck dating the true pond dwellers left on the market. She had recently had an affair with a guy, and at first, they were getting along. Right in the middle of it, she noticed familiar issues creeping into the relationship. She worked too much; she spent most of her free time with her children (rightly so); and he felt neglected. The relationship ended. Now she lamented facing her single life and thought perhaps she was better off not dating at all.
Does Deanne’s situation sound familiar? Deanne and many women in similar situations tend to blame one of two things: the lack of a qualified dating pool or the men’s behavior. Deanne never stopped to ask herself about her own culpability in her relationships. Her mantra is: “Men are scum.” Haven’t we all heard that phrase uttered from our girlfriends? It’s all about the men not behaving the way we want or expect. I like what my business partner says though, “Men are simple creature. If we could all understand that part we would have fantastic relationships.”
So with the thought that men are simple creature, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate and reinvent your relationship behavior. What are you doing or not doing that might increase the rancor in your relationship. I’m not suggesting that it’s all your fault, the old cliché it takes two to tango always applies, but perhaps it’s time to reassess what you’re doing as the partner in the so-called crime. Deanne went right back out on the dating market after her divorce and immediately started repeating old dating patterns and behaviors. She acted no different than she did at age 20 except she was not 20 anymore and her excuse of inexperience definitely didn’t apply.
What I’m about to share with you also applies if your relationship is floundering and needs a little reinvention too. You need to change yourself first before you can accept the outcome to be different. A new book we published called Be the Hammer Not the Nail: 110 Tools to Build a Successful Life  offers this important Tool that applies to changing your dating your behaviors:
Tools 44: The definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Author Dr. Lance A. Casazza says, “Want to know what your life will look like five years from now? Don’t change a thing. [Many of you reading this article] fit right into this statement. You may be wondering why you are where you are – and it’s because you keep doing the same thing over and over and you arrive at the same place every time. To break this cycle, you need to try a new approach, and most likely something that is new to you and may be a little out of your comfort zone. If what you have been doing to try and get where you want to go is the same plan over and over, it may explain why you stand in the exact same place as where you started.
“Many make the comment they’re stuck in a [dating] rut. That no matter what they seem to do they keep ending up with the same outcome. For the most part, that is because people are unwilling to try new things and venture out of their comfort zones. Use this Tool when you see the rut being a problem with your personal growth. We need to try new approaches when the ones we use don’t work. It seems pretty simple, so why don’t we do it? The reason is also simple: New things feel strange and awkward. We have been conditioned to avoid things that feel different. So the “bridge” that must be made is that we tread water in our present state and need to find a new way to get to where we want to go. I understand that treading water allows us to survive – and that if we tread water long enough, something may come along. The risk in this line of thinking is that we can only tread so long. Also, when we tread water we stay in the same spot – and that is not where we ultimately want to be. I understand that treading water allows us to survive and that if we tread long enough, something may come along to pull us out. This risky line of thinking means we can only tread so long – and if helps doesn’t come, we keep right on treading or sink.
“Also, when we tread water we stay in the same spot, which may not be where we want to be. As you read this, try and quickly identify if you do this – that is what this Tool’s design helps you to do. To shake you a bit and make you see that the reason you are in the same place – the reason you have not been growing – is because you have been doing the same thing over again.”
What Dr. Lance is trying to teach everyone is that to reinvent anything – including your relationships – you have to start with you. Until you figure out how what you need to be a good partner in your relationship, you will continue choosing the same men with the same behaviors and continue to face the same issues. I’ve been told we are given lessons to learn until we learn them, which is a belief that we get sent back to this Earth to keep learning what we didn’t learn the first time around. If you think of it as applicable to your life and relationships, you get to keep dating and dating until you finally figure it out. So, with that nugget of information, I will leave you to think about it.
And if you want to see the other amazing 110 Tools Dr. Lance has in his book, purchase a copy on Amazon by searching for the title Be the Hammer Not the Nail . You will really enjoy it. The whole book is about reinvention and living your life like a successful person both in your relationships and business.
Michelle Gamble-Risley is an author and speaker. Her book Smash: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Practical Marketing and Public Relations  is on sale on Amazon. Type in the FULL title to find it.