Relationships

Dating advice: Should you go on a 'man diet'?

Author: Canadian Living

Relationships

Dating advice: Should you go on a 'man diet'?

Detox-in-a-box and at-home cleanses have officially become mainstream, but they're no longer just meant for eliminating sugar, dairy or gluten. Doing a cleanse or going on a detox is about getting rid of toxins in the body, but those same principles can be applied to your dating life. Not having any luck meeting the type of men you can see yourself with in the long term? Do you find yourself attracted to Mr. Wrong time and time again? Or maybe you don't have a type, but a type has you, and the feeling's never mutual?

There is a new dating movement happening called the "Man Diet." The Man Diet is for single women who are tired of going around and around on the dating carousel and helps them discover that really great relationship they deserved all along: with themselves!

We consulted Patricia Carr, an Ottawa-based professional life coach, about this trend. "Going from fling to fling or date to date can definitely be harmful to your self-esteem," she says. "It can be deflating to go out on one bad date after another -- it saps your confidence."

The 4-Step Man Diet
1. Start a conversation with yourself
"I encourage my female clients to forget about men, and really evaluate what makes them happy. It starts an interesting conversation, talking about yourself and what you really want."

It's exhausting to date by the numbers, going on 100 dates and counting on the probability that one per cent of those dates will become something meaningful. Unfortunately, the other 99 per cent of those dates with unhappy endings have a detrimental effect on your self-worth. "A lot of women just aren't happy and don't take care of their own needs," says Carr. "But if you don't know what makes you happy, how can anyone else make you happy?"

Page 1 of 3 -- Learn more about the 'man diet' and how 3 easy gestures can bring you inner happiness on page 2

2. Make a list
So you've committed to taking a relationship break, and devoted some time to getting to know yourself, but how do you change your dating energy from negative to positive attraction?

"Write it all down," advises Carr. "Make a list. What are you looking for? And be specific: Must haves, nice-to-haves and absolute deal-breakers. Consider what you're willing to compromise on, without compromising your own values, and put it down in writing. Once you have spent some time on your list, you'll have a road map of your relationship goals and you will be so much better equipped to really listen to your own instincts."

3. Clean house
"Hanging on to old stuff is unproductive," says Carr. "The point is to move forward in new patterns of behaviour, and in letting go of things you get more desirable results because you have made room for those good things to come into your life."

So take time during your dating hiatus to clean up and clean out -- physically and emotionally. The space where you live should be free of clutter and painful reminders of past failed relationships. Your mind, too, needs to be able to release old hurts and bitterness, to forgive and forget. Concentrate on creating space for newer and positive experiences.

4. Nourish yourself
Subscribe to that organic vegetable delivery service you have heard so much about. Take outrageously long showers or baths. Take a cooking lesson (or 10). Find out what all the fuss is about quinoa. Take your vitamins. Learn how to make your own sushi. Breathe deeply and often. Get a manicure-pedicure in an impractical colour or join a gym just because it has a great sauna.

"Women often have that fear of ‘What if it's never going to happen for me?' when it comes to relationships. What they don't realize is that when you feel good about yourself, you radiate that confidence out to the world and all of that positivity reflects right back to you."

Page 2 of 3 -- Find expert advice on why you should try the 'man diet' on page 3

Some relationship experts advise women to go on a dating detox for half the length of time their last bad relationship lasted. "I see a lot of value in stepping back and evaluating where you are in your life, and especially in your relationships," confirms Carr. "I don't tell my clients what not to do, but I do challenge them to reconsider what they are doing and why they are doing it." Whatever formula you use, give yourself enough time to really dedicate yourself to regrouping and refocusing your energy inward.

Going on a Man Diet has to be easier than mastering every speed-dating online-dating Skype-dating blind-dating flavour of the month, right? "Women need to remind themselves that what they want actually matters," says Carr. So go ahead and date your own self for a change. Chances are you'll discover that really great relationship you deserved all along.

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