One year after her marriage to her high school sweetheart ended, Toria Wyrick realized that mourning the loss of her relationship wasn't doing much for her love life. When she forgave herself-and her husband-for the mistakes in their union, the quality of men she met improved. That's when she knew she was on to something.
Over the next four years, Wyrick interviewed more than 500 men and women about their successes and failures on the dating scene for her how-to relationship guide, Want A Man? Let's Talk (Author House). She discovered that one the biggest reasons many women were unlucky at love was because they hadn't let go of the past. "A lot of women are still suffering from hurt way back when," says Wyrick. "I wrote this book to help them move on and have better relationships with men. Wyrick spoke exclusively to Essence.com about putting women on the right path to finding love in '08.
Essence.com: Your book isn't about women meeting just any man; it's about helping women find a good man. What tips can you share to help a woman find a quality partner?
Toria Wyrick: Before she's ready for anyone, a woman has to have a healthy outlook on relationships. That means she's in a happy place with who she is and she's moved on and forgiven herself for any past relationship problems. She doesn't believe there aren't any good men around. That's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you put that negative energy out there, then that's what you'll find.
Essence.com: So after she's developed her outlook, what's next?
T.W.: She should make a point to put her best foot forward, smile and be friendly. Just have fun. If you're outgoing and laughing and fun and having a good time, men will see that and want to have fun, too. They will come to you.
Essence.com: Now with all these new men coming by, how does a woman weed out the ones with drama or who just want sex?
T.W.: If you're in a good place, you will recognize people who are on the same page. You also have to pay attention to what a man does. If he's still going out a lot, [then] he just wants to party and have fun. He's not looking for anything serious. Men will tell us what they want, we just have to listen. And if they don't mention they are looking for a long-term relationship, then they are usually not.
Essence.com: What's the biggest mistake women make on the dating scene?
T.W.: A lot of women are not comfortable being alone. At the first inkling that a man might be interested, they jump into a relationship to fill a void. Or they meet a man they like and the next thing you know, they're trying to take him away for the weekend because they've been waiting so long to find someone they can go on a vacation with. I recommend that women slow down the pace and not commit to a man until she's known him for six months. When you first meet a man, he's not always his true self. But to find that out you have to spend time with him.
Essence.com: Your book places a lot of emphasis on having fun being single. Are women forgetting that you don't have to be in a relationship to enjoy life?
T.W.: Yes! Once you are in a committed relationship or living together and looking to get married, there is a lot of compromise. Being single is your chance to really just do what you want, when you want and make all your own decisions. It's an exciting opportunity. You have to seize the moment.
Want A Man? Let's Talk can be purchased at womenletstalk.com
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