Don't Be That Girl: A Guide to Finding the Confident, Rational Girl Within

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9781416949084: Don't Be That Girl: A Guide to Finding the Confident, Rational Girl Within

The charismatic ER doctor who starred in The Bachelor: Paris goes beyond traditional dating advice to share his personal insights into the psychological and physiological factors involved in helping women develop the confidence and self-esteem that are essential in developing and sustaining successful, fulfilling, and long-lasting relationships. 40,000 first printing.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Dr. Travis Stork graduated magna cum laude from Duke University and

earned his medical degree from the University of Virginia. He currently lives in

Colorado, where he works as an ER doctor. Dr. Stork will be the host of the

highly anticipated Dr. Phil spinoff, "The Doctors," premiering this fall.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Agenda Girl

You probably know at least one Agenda Girl. I certainly have met enough to consider myself something of an expert on the kind of woman who asks me how many children I'd like and if I could ever see myself settling down (and when) during our second date -- or sooner. I once had a woman ask me during the first thirty minutes of our first date if I was ready for marriage and children because she felt like her clock was ticking and she didn't want to waste her time with men who weren't "serious" about dating. Take it from a guy, that is not how you want to start off your first date.

The Agenda Girl is the one who's been planning her wedding since she was old enough to count to ten bridesmaids. Her hobbies include reading Modern Bride and designing her dream engagement ring on adiamondisforever.com. (Don't ask me how I know this!) She secretly seethes with envy every time another friend gets engaged, but is first in line for the bouquet toss at the wedding. She's known exactly how many children she wants as well as at what age she wants to have them since she was fifteen -- unfortunately, she hasn't revised those ideas since. She has a list of requirements for her potential husband that is at least a mile long, although, in case of emergency (e.g. she's twenty-nine and still not married), she will gladly settle for someone who allows her to check her top five boxes:

1 - decent looks
2 - advanced degree in a prestigious profession
3 - steady job in a lucrative field (what's the use of a law degree if you're just going to waste it at a nonprofit?)
4 - good family
5 - ready to settle down

There you have it, everything an Agenda Girl needs for a real, honest-to-goodness fairy-tale romance. And guess what? I can tell all this about her within an hour of our first date. How? Because that is usually how long it takes her to decide whether or not she wants to start grooming me for the role of Mr. Agenda Girl.

Of course, not every Agenda Girl is quite that obvious. Plenty of women enter into relationships with open minds only to find themselves getting hung up on the idea of marriage before the time is ripe -- meaning, before their boyfriend is ready. In these cases, the relationship often self-destructs when the agenda comes to light in the form of premature demands and a relationship-ending ultimatum.

Could You Be an Agenda Girl?

Even if you're nowhere near as extreme as the girl I just described, Agenda Girls come in all shapes and sizes. Answer these true/false questions to find out if the bridal shoe fits...and be honest!

1. T / F I am almost always the one who introduces the subject of marriage and children.
2. T / F I often find myself thinking about what we'll do on future dates during our first few outings.
3. T / F I have actually practiced signing my name using my boyfriend's last name.
4. T / F I feel sorry for the losers, er, I mean women, who are over thirty and still not married.
5. T / F My biological clock sounds more like a ticking time bomb. If I don't have children within the next few years, I'll explode.
6. T / F My first dates are usually a lot like job interviews.
7. T / F If I don't get married by a certain age, I'll feel like an old maid.
8. T / F It is important for me to figure out fairly quickly whether or not I would marry a guy.
9. T / F If my boyfriend didn't propose to me within eighteen months, I would leave and find someone who would.
10. T / F The Rules is my dating bible.

Scoring:
0-2 True: While you want to get married eventually, you are not turning guys off with an obvious marriage agenda.
3-5 True: So maybe you don't have your imaginary babies' names all picked out, but what you do have is a minor case of Agenda Girlitis. Take my word, even a minor case can be a major relationship killer, so read on.
6+ True: You are a full-blown Agenda Girl. Please keep reading to learn how you can stop driving men away.

Two Reasons Why Guys Don't Like Agenda Girls

A premature wedding agenda is such a turnoff that even the worst offenders know better than to reveal their true intentions. Unfortunately, trying to hide the truth from a date is nearly impossible if you don't believe your own story. So next time you're sitting there, spinning some yarn about how you're in no rush to get married -- all the while mentally calculating how long it will take to get this guy to fall for you so you can spring the truth on him -- understand this: Any guy with eyes can see right through your hidden agenda.

I know what you're thinking. And? So what? What is so wrong with wanting to get married?

Absolutely nothing. Again, the problem with Agenda Girl isn't that she wants to get married, it's that she wants to get married to anyone who fits her requirements and will pop the question by the date circled in her meticulously organized day planner. Which leads me to the first reason men don't like the Agenda Girl:

Reason #1: We want to feel special too.

Believe it or not, men have feelings. We want to feel special and appreciated for our unique qualities. We want to feel like we have forged an uncommon connection with the person we're dating. Like we've found something precious and rare -- someone who gets us and loves us for who we are. Unfortunately, it's painfully clear that Agenda Girl doesn't much care how we feel, what we want, or who we are. All she cares about is how we'll fit in with her plan, her dreams, and her life.

Here's how the typical guy will respond to an obvious Agenda Girl. First, he'll feel flattered that you're so obviously into him that you want to marry him. Wow, he'll think, I must be a real catch.

One minute later, that feeling will pass and he'll start thinking: What's wrong with this woman? Why is she so in love with me when she doesn't even know me? What does she want from me? Ah! She's not in love with me at all. It has nothing to do with me. She just wants to get married. Oh boy...not again!

"Check please!"

Despite what some Agenda Girls may think, this typical reaction does not mean that the guy is immature or unable to commit. He just doesn't want to commit to you.

Put yourself into our shoes for a minute. After all, women don't have a monopoly on agendas. Guys can be just as guilty. Except in the guy's case, the agenda may be sex, not marriage.

Take a moment to think back to a time when a date's behavior made it quite obvious that all he really cared about was getting some action. Any number of things may have tipped you off. It could have been the way his eyes glazed over when he stared deep into your cleavage. Maybe it was his won't-take-no-for-an-answer insistence that you order that third frozen margarita. Or perhaps you had reason to pause after the fifth time he told you how you're the smartest, sexiest, most charming and beautiful woman he'd ever met. We all love compliments, but if you were able to see this behavior for what it really was -- a full-court press to get you into bed -- chances are the resulting ego boost didn't last very long.

When a guy makes his intentions so obvious, it's only natural that you stop to think, Hmm, I wonder if he says this to all the girls?

Guess what? Guys feel the same way when a woman is working an agenda of her own. No matter what the agenda, the man who is just trying to enjoy your company, go with the flow, and get to know you better is going to catch on. And when that happens, don't be surprised if your text messages start going unanswered.

Reason #2: We want surprises.

Surprise and mystery are at the core of romance. Guys want and need to spend some time wondering, Does she like me too? No, women aren't the only ones who sometimes turn to the Magic 8 Ball. We want to feel emotionally invested, and since every investment involves some risk of losing, we cannot feel invested when you are a sure thing and we are 100 percent certain of your intentions. It just doesn't work that way.

The problem with the Agenda Girl is that she cannot tolerate the level of uncertainty that's necessary for a real relationship to blossom. Afraid of the risks that come with true romance, she prefers to look at a relationship like a job. Except in this case, she's reaching for the diamond ring, not the brass one.

To attain her goal, Agenda Girl sets up signposts to guide her along the road to the altar. Any guy who is dating one of these girls suddenly feels like he's been hired for a new job. And he knows exactly what is expected of him:

1. Friday or Saturday night dates for the first few months.
2. Pressure to stop seeing other people.
3. Drawer space.
4. Those "three little words" before the fourth month. Often followed by the horrifying..."Don't you feel the same way?" response to our silence.
5. Meeting each other's parents as soon as possible.
6. A ring within eighteen months or less. Or an ultimatum.
7. Either marry her and be miserable, or break if off and make her miserable.

Not only does the typical Agenda Girl relationship usually lead to either a breakup or an unhappily ever after, but, as you can see, the journey to the altar isn't much fun for the guy involved. Like I said, zero surprises. We know exactly what Agenda Girl will do every step of the way. If she gets what she wants, she'll be flush with success and giddily lavish us with affection. If she doesn't, we'll never hear the end of it. She'll nag, she'll turn on the waterworks, she'll threaten to leave....She'll make our lives a living hell. Call me crazy, call me immature, call me commitment phobic, just don't call me Ms. Agenda's boyfriend. No thanks!

The Dead Giveaways

Maybe I shouldn't be telling you this, but there are two ways in which Agenda Girls tip us off every time. I am not revealing this information so you can better hide your agenda. Hopefully, by the time you're through with this chapter, and the book, you'll see why you're much better off appr...

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