Read an Excerpt
Why are you still single? It doesn’t matter.
The important question is not why are you still single, but what are you going to do about it? I have created a proven, proactive, assertive program that I simply call “The Program.” It will help you find a husband. The Program uses powerful marketing tactics that I learned at Harvard Business School, in my professional marketing career, and in coaching single women just like you. It will jump-start your dating life and get you married.
If you’re reading this book, you are probably between the ages of 35 and 105 and looking to get married for the first time, or maybe the fourth time. You probably have experienced waves of resignation, thinking that you will never find a wonderful mate. You may be divorced or widowed, or never married after spending time on your career or with the wrong boyfriend. Maybe you’ve had weight issues or you’ve been distracted by a sick parent. Maybe you’re shy and have trouble meeting men. It makes no difference how you got here: You’re single and ready to make a change.
What this book is not is an analysis of all that has gone wrong in your life, who’s to blame, or why society is the way it is. You’ll see zero quotes from famous psychiatrists, sociologists, priests, or rabbis about the plight of the single modern female.
Women frequently ask me how to change their patterns of the past. They spend too much time on the job, they are attracted to the wrong types of men, they can’t get over a lost love, their dates don’t turn into committed relationships, their committed relationships always fizzle, or a dozen other common patterns. These are areas that The Program does not address in its 15 Steps. The Program is about action and moving forward: It will help you find a husband, but it assumes that at your stage in life, you have a pretty good idea about why you’re still single.
For some of you, being single has been by choice. You are fundamentally happy except for the frustration you feel about not having met a great partner. You’ve had other priorities and you have a full life with your friends, family, activities, and career. You have been too busy to focus on getting married. If you are reading this book now, perhaps you’re ready to shift your focus.
For others of you, being single has not been by choice for any number of reasons. To understand those reasons, you may have tried therapy, read self-help books, or had friends and family counsel you on your issues. Hopefully, you are now enlightened and ready to break out of any damaging patterns. You want action, not more psychoanalysis.
Of course, you don’t want to find just any husband. You probably could have done that by now. You want a wonderful husband, whatever that means to you individually. This is understood throughout The Program. When I say that these tactics will help find your husband, know that I mean “your wonderful husband.”
And those wonderful husbands are out there. Every time I go to a new city to teach my seminar “Find a Husband After 35,” the seminar registration operator inevitably calls me in advance to ask, “Do you allow men in your class? We’ve had so many calls from men who want to attend your seminar.” I’ve called back many of those men, and I can promise you they’re not looking to “hit on” the single women in my class. They genuinely want to learn how to find a wife. Some are shy, some are busy with their jobs, some are busy with single parenting, and most just don’t know where the wonderful single women are. These men are lonely and out there looking for love, too. You’re going to learn how to find them in this book.
The Program allows you to take matters into your own hands with 15 action steps. It is designed for women later in life with unique challenges, such as fewer eligible men and more insular lifestyles.
Let me be clear. This is not a program for the uncommitted. At times, you will feel this plan requires too much effort and is too contrived. But reading this book is like dialing “Marriage 911”: It’s an emergency. And you do what you have to do. You’re lonely, maybe your biological clock is ticking, and you want a loving husband more than anything else. If you were searching for a job, you would devote enormous time and effort to finding the right one. Finding the right husband is certainly more important than a job, since hopefully the husband will be with you for a lifetime. If you wanted to lose weight, you’d abide by the required sacrifices and rules. The Program is like a combination job search and strict diet: There are commitments, sacrifices, and rules involved.
What is The Program?
Throughout this book I will frequently refer to “The Program.” The Program is a simple 15-Step action program to help you find a husband that uses marketing tactics I learned at Harvard Business School and honed in my professional marketing career. You, the reader, are the “product,” and The Program is a “strategic plan” to help you “market” yourself to find your future husband.
When you first hear the words product, strategic plan, and marketing applied to you and your dating efforts, perhaps you will bristle. This is normal. You are learning about a radical new approach. I assure you that The Program will be an empowering experience for you. It will allow you to take control of your unmarried situation and learn how you can do something smart and effective to change it.
You may recognize some tactics in this book that you’ve already put into practice. But my guess is that you’ve been doing only a few of these things, and doing them sporadically. Most of the dating activities that women initiate lack focus and coordination. They pull in different directions and don’t produce the desired result. The trick is pulling them all together into a comprehensive and systematic strategic program. This is key. Just as in an orchestra, you may have violins and flutes playing, but until a conductor comes along and brings all the instrument sections together, the music doesn’t deliver impact.
There are several tried-and-true methods by which 35+ singles meet each other today: fix-ups, organized activities, parties, “chance” meetings, and many kinds of dating services. While several of the 15 Steps advocate these familiar methods, what you’ll find in The Program is an abundance of new and creative tactics to make them effective for you. I don’t want to change you, I want to change what you do.
There are many tactics in this book that are just plain common sense. But I don’t assume that you have necessarily been practicing them. In any case, what you’ve been doing so far hasn’t worked, so what have you got to lose? Read on.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
You will learn a whole new approach to looking for a husband. Your mind-set will change as you practice The Program Thinking Method in Step #1 and start looking at the world through Program lenses. You will start to see the problem of finding a husband through the eyes of a marketer: a problem that can be solved with creative solutions. You will understand why the scene changes after 35 and why you need to cast a wider net as you search for Mr. Right. When you’ve finished this book, you will be able to devise and advertise your personal brand, know how to get out of your rut, be able to create a winning plan to increase the volume of men you meet, conduct an exit interview, and much more. So stop obsessing about being single, and let’s do something about it!
WHO MOVED MY ALTAR?
It really is different looking for a husband after 35. It’s as though someone moved your altar: You weren’t supposed to be standing here. Maybe you are part of the group of women whom I call the “Lost Cinderella Generation.” You broke the glass ceiling, but broke your glass slipper along with it. There are six major differences to take into account now:
1.Urgency: If you’re over 35 and looking to get married, you probably have a great sense of urgency. Your biological clock is ticking if you want children. Your friends and family are hounding you with: “Why aren’t you married yet?” And you’re sick to death of floating single in a sea of married couples. If you’re divorced or widowed, you have other urgent issues, too: the stress of being a single parent or the burden of loneliness after years of having a partner. Urgent matters require action. You can’t sit around, feel sorry for yourself, or wait until fate knocks on your door. You need to take matters into your own hands quickly and efficiently, using the proven search tactics from The Program. The tactics in this book are probably very different from the ones you used in your 20’s.
2.Fewer single men: It’s a math equation that’s hard to grasp. There should be roughly an equal number of single men after 35 as there are women, right? Wrong. There are 28 million single women over 35, but only 18 million single men over 35 (U.S. Census, 2000)! The difference is due to a number of factors, including the fact that many men marry younger women. You must accept the reality you’re given and figure out how best to address it. This means no more narrow criteria about what kind of man you’re looking for. Accept the possibility that your future husband may have many wonderful qualities, but they may come in a different package than you’ve imagined. He may be divorced, he may have kids of his own, he may be shorter than you, or he may work in a profession completely different from that of men you’ve dated in the past.
3.Changed bodies: Another cold reality. You are more likely to have problem body areas after 35. You may have had them before 35, but maybe they’re worse now. Double chins and cellulite are the enemies. Your friends are talking about botox and plastic surgery. There will always be some perfect older woman out there who looks like she’s 25, but for the rest of us, we need to make some changes to keep looking our best to attract men. The Program’s Step #3, Packaging, addresses this issue, and it’s very important. You don’t need to be beautiful and thin to find a husband. In fact, the most important success criterion is your level of commitment to the search. But you need to do some research and figure out what improvements you can make to your overall appearance. As they say, you only have one chance to make a first impression.
4.Baggage: By the time you’re over 35, you will probably have more “baggage” in your life than you did at 25 or 30. You may have the shadow of an ex-husband or ex-fiancé, the memory of a deceased husband, or worse, a therapist from whom you desperately seek approval. You may have a more demanding job, young children who require all your energy, teenage children who devour your patience, an ailing parent who consumes you with guilt, or a beloved pet who never leaves your side. Maybe you have personal issues with weight, shyness, or self-esteem. The Program will show you how to focus on your goal without being burdened by your baggage.
5.Habits: The older you are, the more difficult old habits are to break. You may have recurring patterns of choosing the wrong type of men, or being too picky and not giving new men a chance. You are probably more rigid and set in your ways. You may work too many hours at the office, or have a firmly entrenched routine at home. To really break these habits–which have been forming over many years, and are preventing you from finding a husband–you need a shock to your system. Using The Program’s marketing tactics for your dating efforts may be just what you need to help you make a change.
6.Insular lifestyle: After 35, your life is more insular. You aren’t on a college campus where thousands of single men hang around. You aren’t going out all night with your friends to parties and bars where chance meetings with single men are bountiful. Your job may be in a smaller office environment as you’ve risen higher in your position, or in a smaller city where it seems harder to meet eligible men. Or maybe you’ve earned the “right” to work at home and you rarely see your colleagues. Most of your friends are married with kids, and socializing means being a third wheel. You’re probably in a personal rut, doing the same things over and over with the same circle of people. The Program’s Step #8, Guerrilla Marketing, will give you the tools to do something different and change your lifestyle.
THE BOTTLENECK AFTER 35
There are several stages in the process of being single at any age that I have identified through the course of my work. While you may have experienced some but not all of these stages,
once or more than once, in a different order, or in varied intensities,
they are basically as follows:
THE STAGES OF BEING SINGLE
Freedom > Hope > Love > Loss > Resentment > Reflection >
Disappointment > Resignation > Renewal > Searching > Dating >
Selection > Commitment
I want to help you with the stage that most women have told me is the hardest one after age 35. I looked at these stages and asked myself, “If these were stages in a business process,
where would the bottleneck be?” Bottleneck is a term used in business operations to find which area on the production line is not running efficiently and is slowing down the other functions.
Most women have told me that “Searching” is the after-35 bottleneck, simply because there seem to be fewer men and even fewer opportunities to meet them. They say they don’t know how to find the good ones, they don’t have the stamina to continue the search, and they have lost hope. Sound familiar?
Clearly, all the stages in the singles process are daunting and difficult in their own right, but The Program is aimed primarily at the biggest bottleneck for women after 35: the Searching stage. Step #15, however—Exit Strategy: “Man”agement—also addresses some of the issues in the Dating, Selection, and Commitment stages. Even though many of you may still have issues with damaging patterns from your past and will have questions about other stages, I believe that you are mature women who can navigate these rough waters. You know where and how to find the help you need (friends, family, therapy, self-help books, and so forth). I want to concentrate on giving you the tools to find him first. If you never get up to bat, you can’t hit a home run!
NOT WARM AND FUZZY
In teaching you The Program, I will be blunt in my advice and tell you things that you may not want to hear. But I will offer the truth. Dozens of self-help books on the shelves offer gentle and coddling advice. This is not one of those books. The Program
is strict and bold. It will jolt you into action and provide creative tactics to find your husband. So don’t be offended as we get down to business.
WHY I WROTE THIS BOOK
I’m a professional marketing expert with an MBA from Harvard Business School. In my former jobs I used to market a wide range of products—everything from bottled water to fashion jewelry. I learned and used classic marketing principles proven effective in selling many categories of products. But ever since my undergraduate days in college as a psychology major, I was always more interested in people than in retail products. It was inevitable that I began to see personal relationships through my
“marketing eyes.” What I saw was very intriguing, and I came to realize that finding a husband effectively is about applying business principles to the dating process and marketing yourself.
It’s all about using classic marketing tactics such as packaging,
branding, advertising, and niche marketing.
So I took my Harvard Business School training and real-life marketing job experiences and applied them to an untapped and growing market segment: single women over 35. I wanted to use my skills and instincts toward the challenge of helping women find a husband later in life. Five years ago, The Program
This began as a hobby. I felt so fortunate to have found my own husband, and to be so happy, that I wanted my single friends to have the same experience. I wanted to instill in them the same business thought process that had eventually led me to my husband. I started out working with only one woman at a time and I gave it my all. I acted as Mentor, Advertiser, and Telemarketer for each one until she walked down the aisle. This became my passion. I was constantly on the phone with my latest
“project” and always looking for creative ways to fix her up by finding single men who were friends of friends of friends.
But I realized that I could have an impact on more than just a handful of single women if I gave them the tools to do it themselves, rather than doing it all for them.
So I sat down and formalized the 15 Steps that now comprise
The Program. At first, I just had the names of the steps written down on two sheets of notebook paper. I invited a few women
(friends of friends) to officially join The Program, and my “finda-
husband” consulting business was launched. This small group of pioneer women who first experimented with formal Program
steps soon discovered that they really worked! I am proud and happy to say that I attended each of their weddings.
Three years ago, I went to a party given by Stephanie, one of my Program pioneers. She was then a 40-year-old woman who had joined The Program and was on Step #12, Event Marketing:
Throw a Program Party! She had told many of her party guests in advance about The Program and how well it was working for her. By the time I arrived at her party, I was greeted by the single women like a Hollywood celebrity. Stephanie’s story had spread. Hordes of single women flocked to me, wanting to learn more about The Program. “What is it?” they whispered, as if it were a secret handshake. They were all intrigued and willing to try something new. I knew I was onto something exciting.
My private client base expanded dramatically over the next few years. I am proud that the majority of my clients have met their future husbands within 12 to 18 months of joining The Program. I took my message on the road, and I began to teach seminars around the country. I was invited to appear as a guest on several top-rated radio shows. And then someone said to me those five magic words that changed my life: “You should write a book.”