How do you go from an abusive, controlling, womanizer to a noted relationship and life coach? Tony Gaskins, featured on Oprah and the Tyra Show, can tell you how. He uses his experience to help men and women get to better, healthier love. Because so many people want real love, but don’t know how to date in a way that makes it possible, I asked Tony to call in to HeartShape and share his expert insight on dating with purpose. We talked about the top dating mistakes, cheating versus monogamy and so much more. Of course there’s no blueprint to a perfect dating life, but I have to say, Tony’s tips are pretty close to one.
The #1 Dating Mistake
Tony believes dating turns ugly when sex is the motive–and that’s the number one dating mistake for men as far as he sees it. He says, “A lot of men go in and they just want to have sex extremely fast instead of taking time to build a friendship and letting that be the foundation of the relationship.” As far as the number one dating mistake for women, Tony says, “Women don’t pay attention to the warning signs. A lot of women go in and they’re giving a man the benefit of the doubt, instead of going in and making him prove himself beyond a reasonable doubt.” Getting to a better love-life has everything to do with recognizing mistakes like these and applying that information to your dating life.
“You have all the power, no excuses, no explanations. A man can only do to you what you allow him to do,” Tony emphasizes to women. Crediting much of his transition into manhood to his wife, he says, while they were dating, “She didn’t reinforce what I call grown boy behavior. She held me accountable and that made me love and respect her, because she was the CEO of her corporation and she saw me coming in and said you’re a liability right now. I need to stop this, redirect it, then I’ll reinforce the positive behaviors and turn you into an asset for my brand and my corporation.” Tony encourages other women to embrace their worth too, date like they know that worth, and for men to respect it in return.
A Perfect, One-Woman-Man?
While women search for one perfect man, many men don’t see the point in being a one-woman-man. I asked Tony to share his thoughts on the popular belief that men are made to cheat and incapable of life-long monogamy. He said, “Real men do what’s hard, not what comes easy. If you’re juggling women it doesn’t make you a man, it makes you a clown. Learn how to love one woman purely because that’s the hardest thing that a man will ever have to do, and if a man can do that than he can do anything else in the world.” With women dating like they know their worth and men keeping in mind that monogamy is possible, there’s little room for disaster dates.
“I Can’t Help What I Feel”
The livelihood of your dating life depends on understanding two things: (1) that real love is built on friendship and (2) that love does not hurt. If you go into the dating world with these mental points, most times you can spot a potential disaster. If you spot one, but feel you can’t turn your feelings off for that particular someone, Tony’s got the perfect advice. He says, “You have to realize that you ignore your feelings when you want to because you understand the consequences, so what you’re giving into it’s not your feelings, it’s lust, and we have to learn how to deny lust.” Wherever lust drives you, disaster awaits. So, get a mental stronghold of those two key points for the sake of your dating life (and in the end your love-life as a whole).