The Pat Allen approach to relationships

relationship, man, woman, dating, marriage, marianne williamson

You may have read here about my favourite relationship advice expert, Dr. Pat Allen. I was lucky enough to meet her this weekend by attending a retreat she hosted where she gave us her take on finding and keeping the ideal relationship. That’s her first tip: you don’t commit to the man, you commit to the relationship. Her next piece of advice is that you withhold intercourse until you have an engagement ring on your finger. No blow jobs, either. She says it’s ok to “sleep together” and pet and touch and so on, but no penetration of any kind until you get the marriage commitment.

I was so happy to have Pat personally validate my own aversion to a man asking me to decide where we go on a date. I told her I find it highly distressing if a man picks me up for a date and says “Where do you want to go?” I get flustered and feel terrible when that happens. Dr. Allen said I had a good reason to feel that way and the reason is that I’m a woman! Men are supposed to make the decisions, pay for the dates, do the asking, approaching, calling and initiating. Hallelujah!

Dr. Allen also validated my feeling that men are to be the first to approach and speak to a woman with whom they’re interested. She said my job is to learn how to signal to them that it’s ok to approach. Because, she says, a gentleman will not approach a woman unless he is absolutely sure she wants him to. She said you do it with your eyes: you have to look him in the eyes for 5 full seconds so he knows you want him. Sounds easy but it’s horrifying to me! I said but what if you’re shy? And she said you do it anyway. She said to practice with men you’re not attracted to so it’s easier. So that’s what I did in the airport waiting for my flight home from the retreat. I practiced looking people in the eyes, both men and women. I held their gaze for 5 seconds and 90 percent of the time they looked away first. The other ten per cent of people looked a little confused. Thank goodness none of the men approached me because I wouldn’t have known what to do.

I’m relieved to know there is a relationship expert out there who shares my values and I can feel supported in my desire to attract a strong man who will take charge and lead! She also said a woman should never speak first when approached unless she wants to be the man in the relationship. I love that. So, now I have to practise making eye contact with people so I can use it on the the next desirable man I see.

She also said to never take a man’s phone number (yay!). If he gives you his card, accept it, turn it over and write your own number on the back and give it back to him. If you don’t like him, of course, just keep the card and forget about it. It’s not game playing because this all feels very natural to me. Asking men out and making the first move and deciding where to go on a date: that feels unnatural. I’m thrilled to have my feelings about men and dating validated in this way and I’m pleased I no longer have to feel like I’m from another planet because I don’t want to be equal with men.

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