Many of my clients that I coach are single and looking for that one perfect mate that is going to understand and love them. Most of these clients are in their 20’s 30’s or early 40’s. Because I work as a business consultant and coach, the people I come into contact with are usually people who are open to self growth. This causes a whole new level of understanding that the clients must acknowledge.

First of all, a few of them are using the traditional dating services. Since none of them are arrogant, they can’t seem to get their Ideal Mate qualities across in a way that doesn’t make them sound better than others. So, I’m helping my clients to “package” themselves in a way that is factual and fun. It’s what good attorneys do when they are trying to win a case. It’s what agents do when they are trying to sell an entertainer to the public. It’s what a publicist does when their company is in trouble.

Pitch the best and most qualities first. Quick, fast and easy.

Example: Claire is a 34 year old stylish, single mom, due to the death of her spouse 3 years ago. She’s lived all (or traveled) over the country and is a successful entrepreneur who sells her services to top notch corporate types. She’s interested in connecting with an individual who is competent in the area of finances, relationships and travel. She’s not out to save anyone, but wants to enjoy the finer things of life along with the simple pleasures of life.

Okay, this knocks out anyone who is not ambitious about life. It pretty much takes out the old fashioned man who wants his wife to stay at home to cook, clean and take care of the kids. It also makes a requirement of their finances.. that they are successful.

Why is this important? My clients have found so many “wonderful and nice” people in dating pool. And yet they wonder why they aren’t falling in love with these “super nice” people. They beat themselves up because they are passing through the many people like water that are presented to them.

I have explained to the majority of my clients that if they are the type of person who does self development, therapy, goes to classes, is a continual learner, reads to grow or learn, (not just romance novels), updates their skills on a regular basis, gets involved with causes or charity, works out their bodies, nurtures their relationship with God, has good relationships with their friends and family, THEN THEY ARE A 5%er. THEY ARE DIFFERENT. THEY ARE SPECIAL. AND THEY WON’T BE SATISFIED WITH JUST THE AVERAGE OL’ JOE.

Most people just don’t have the time OR WANT to grow themselves. They are content with who they are. They are content with what they’ve been given in life. They’re in the same job that they’ll have forever. They don’t need to stretch. They don’t need to learn. They are fine how they are.

We all know people like this! They make nice friends. They are predictable. They are usually reliable. They’re usually available. Nothing changes. Not their tastes, not their attitudes (for better or for worse) and not their circumstances.

Is it my clients? NO! The people I coach or who come to my workshops and seminars are people of ACTION. They are people who seek growth opportunity and ways to stretch. That’s why they won’t be satisfied with just a “nice guy. Or a super nice gal.” It won’t CHALLENGE them. They won’t look up to them. They won’t have the respect that one desires in a committed relationship.

If you are a 5 %er or a 1%er. … then give yourself a break! You probably AREN’T going to find your perfect mate in your own back yard. You MIGHT of course, and I would love to hear from you if you have. But feel free to look more on a national basis. Ask your friends in other cities who they know. When you travel, be open to meeting people on the planes or in airports. Sit in first class when ever you can so you get to meet others who are flying first class.

Be open to adventure! Go on vacation with friends and see who is there. Go on a cause oriented work vacation to see who you can meet. Take a bicycle trip across the country or Europe to meet others who don’t only seek friends in their own back yard.

Many of my friends married men or women from other countries. Many are married to people they met when moving to a larger city. While there are sometimes cultural differences, and traditional issues that they deal with, they also are exposed to a whole new way of life. New customs, new attitudes and new places. These can be exciting things for a person who likes to learn new things.

I met my own husband on the internet in a chat room about 10 years ago. He’s Cuban-Italian and grew up in NYC. His customs have been fun to learn about and we’ve combined our hunger for learning to many new adventures, especially raising our son! We are both independent, yet we share many things in common. And if I had only looked in my own back yard, I would have stopped so many years ago and still been in Florida. While I may go back to Florida one day and settle in, I’ve experienced a whole world of new people, ideas, and places since I’ve lived there.

My challenge to you if you are single is “Please don’t give up”!. Don’t think that just because you are picky that you are destined to be single forever. But be willing to look outside your own community of friends. Be willing to the possibility that your perfect mate is in another town, city or country, anxiously waiting the opportunity to meet that person who also has dreams and goals of their own, who loves the city, the country, home and abroad. Consider that this person has a zest for life, just like you do, but their path hasn’t led them to you yet.

Get out there! Make your quest for that mate a quest for life. Enjoy it! Live it! Experience it and share it! You’ll never know until you try and when you try, you’ll have no ideas the adventures that await!

Good luck… go for it and let me know where you land. For now anyway…. And next year? That’ll be a whole new story I’m sure! Safe Travels!


“This is awesome! You are truly a gifted and insightful writer! I am signing up for a cruise to see the glaciers ….or something like that………….”.(single female, Charlotte, NC)

She’s off the market !!! “I got married in September 2003 to a great guy. We met on the internet and he was living in Florida at the time. The crazy part is that the reason he emailed me is because my profile said something about my being a life coach. He had worked with a life coach and had a great experience so he was interested in my profile. Neither of us expected anything to come of it but surprise….
Clearly being a coach has enhanced my life in MANY ways!

Hope you and the family are doing well!
All the best,

Michele (NYC)”

Congratulations Michelle!!!

“I feel so special knowing that you would include me as a 1%er!! Thanks! ;-)”
Great post.” (Single 20 something Male- Charlotte, NC)

“cute blog!” (Single 20 something male- Charlotte, NC)

“Cool, thanks for the inspiration. Keep it coming. Have a great weekend.” (Forty something single guy, Minneapolis)

“This was such a brilliant and insightful and ABSOLUTELY TRUE blog, I just had to respond. My marriage had broken up and I was shaken up by it – and I am what you call a 1% er. I fit the exact description you illustrated – only have the highest goal in mind, insatiable appetite for reading and knowledge, only want to spend time with the most worthy and intelligent people.

I did not understand how someone as intelligent and successful as me could orchstrate such a dismal failure of the one and only thing I truly cared about – but it went spectacularly wrong.

And to make a long story short guess what – I met the absolute love of my life – a successful and wealthy software entrepreneur – you cannot get more my type than this man is, he fits every criteria I could think of, and even some I didn’t know I could think of- and all I did was move to San Diego.

Truer words were never spoken – change your outlook and change your home base – and your life just falls into place. I could not have even imagined how perfect this turned out.

Never ever settle for less than exactly what you want!!!!! Listen to what Mary Gardner has to say.”
(Single 30 something female, San Diego, CA)

“That was great, I am going to pass on to all my single friends!!!!” (single 30 something- Charlotte)

Anyway, it was kind of a “message” because this morning I woke up extremely sad about my relationship. I opened your blog right up to the part about Mr. and Mrs. Right and Am I being too picky. LOL. It didn’t really (make me-sic) happy since I’m not looking, but perhaps it somewhere in there is a message I’m supposed to take to heart.? (Brandie, 20something, midwest)

I read your article on looking for Mr. Right. I thought it was great! Finding Pete was certainly a miracle. We are so well matched for each other. (40 something female, married, Charlotte, NC)


Ok 2 emails in one morning! Wow, I kept reading after that article…The I’m Looking for Mr. or Ms. Right… it’s funny b/c as I read it I was thinking, well sure, I think anyone might consider themselves to be among the top (or the minority…however you choose to look at it J), but then I remembered something I read in one of my psych classes…it related to taking those personality tests. “They” can [usually] tell when someone is lying about those little questions like “is smoking marijuana ok?”…someone who thinks it is might first think they should check no….but then, they think that realistically everyone is like them (I guess it’s more an ego-centric view) so they put yes, thinking it puts them in the status-quo. My point being, maybe we are special!

But anyway, back to your article, I really enjoyed reading that one too…it gave me some hope, because I feel the same way!! There are so many things to do and see in the world, why limit yourself!! (20 something female, , NC)

LOVE LOVE LOVE the article on singles. You are RIGHT ON – I think you should do tv interviews on this topic. I really do b/c you tapped into the pulse of many of Gen X & Y! NO ONE HAS SAID IT BETTER, MORE CONCISELY and with HUMOR and better observation than your article.

I have forwarded the link to my friends (married and single) and they agreed with you! I just last week had my postman AND my hairstylist ask me point blank about my “love life” and when was I going to get married b/c “it’s such a shame that you’re still single when you’re so pretty and smart. It’s almost a waste”!!! I was a bit shocked but still managed to say I haven’t found the right man yet and I refuse to settle. This has also happened to my other girlfriends too. Mary you’re really onto something…Plus it’s THE WAY you write/talk about ANY subject – it’s so fun to read.

Michelle, Jersy girl! 🙂