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My close female friends frequently bemoan the absence of decent single men. They often whine to me that they keep meeting losers when they go on dates or they end up with the wrong types. I don’t recall these discussions happening so much with my male mates. We don’t seem to look at the world the same way in this regard.

Having said that I did go through a period where I just met mad women with self-esteem, lack of confidence or “all men are dicks” type issues. In fact “Tidy Up on Your Way out” is littered with such stories

I suppose we ought to clear up what they mean by a loser first.  Any number of attributes can render a guy a loser in their eyes. It could be poor dress sense, bad breath, excessive prudence with their finances, a failure to move on from previous relationships, too keen to move the discussion onto sex, still seeing other women or, as one of my friends told me “so boring that I actually fell asleep on the date”.

None of these things sound particularly remarkable or unusual. But it does get stranger when it seems to be the same reason, or handful of reasons, EVERY TIME.

So once I have established my friends precise definition of a loser I try to move the discussion on to what they actually do want. This is a typical answer. “Well I just want a man that doesn’t go out with his mates all the time, is not chasing other women and doesn’t look like they have been dragged through a hedge. In other words they can tell me exactly what they don’t want.

What you think about is what becomes your reality. Unsurprisingly I have never been pregnant but I am reliably informed that all pregnant women see, wherever they go, is other pregnant women. You notice them because it is on your mind. In a similar but less paternal analogy I once bought a Black Mini Cooper with a silver Union Jack on the roof. It was strikingly different from anything I had seen so you can imagine how pissed off I was when I saw two identical models on the five mile drive home.

Now unfortunately our neurology has not kept up with the development of language and there is a curious little twist to this tale. We do not process negatives this way. So if you focus on what you don’t want in a partner you actually attract it (try this simple experiment. Do not think of your boss naked . See?)

In my case I didn’t want a basket case girlfriend but being a coach means I pay close attention to what people say. As a result I was quick at picking up when things were not right. I actually started to attract women with problems.

So why not start paying attention and giving some focus to what it is you WANT instead of what you DON’T WANT? You will be surprised how different people look when you do this.