Putting yourself “on the market again” can be such a terrifying, out-of-body experience for women whose last time dating was ½ a lifetime ago – that there’s a temptation to treat it like that seminal moment in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, when Robert Redford flings himself into the abyss yelling, “Oh Shit!”.
As tempting as it might be to have your own “Oh Shit” moment & press “Enter” on an on-line dating site in the late night solitude of your home – my impassioned plea is to:
Do you want to be like GM, shamefacedly recalling millions of deathtrap autos at great expense,
Like Apple… delivering its next highly anticipated offering flawlessly to its breathless, eager public?
To ensure success in this oft fickle, fragile, fraught world of dating – you want to be at your feminine best.
Ladies, it’s time to:
Clarify Your Intentions &
HEAL YOURSELF: Lord knows, we all walk around with our own baggage: childhood losses, adolescent insecurities, adult delusions. It comes with the ride. And if you’re single (again?), chances are you may even have some pesky little “issues” associated with men, intimacy and commitment. No shame/ no blame – we all have them. Just name the little dears, love ‘em and release ‘em, whether through therapy, meditation, nature, prayer, deep friendship, bodywork… Whatever touches your soul and aligns you with your best, most powerful, loving Self.
Because the ugly truth is: If you don’t make peace with yourself – you can’t help but go “looking for love in all the wrong places”. Despite all your attempts to ignore, camouflage and accessorize, you will project your own insecurities and craziness like a beacon in the night – attracting in those with similar or complimentary issues. Not pretty – and who needs that? This is the time to take a loving, truthful look at yourself, your thoughts, behaviors, habits, looks and lifestyle – and simply be the best you can be. ‘Nuff said.
CLARIFY YOUR INTENTIONS: What do you want? Dating is not a “one size fits all” pursuit. On the contrary, everyone has their own particular preferences. So, it behooves you, wise woman that you are, to have your own clarity about:
1. What kind of relationship do you ultimately want?
Husband, significant other, live-in partner, boyfriend, lover, travel companion, playmate, ______
2. What are you ready for now?
Activity buddy, friend with benefits, Saturday night date, occasional fling, steady beau, _______
3. What kind of person is a good fit for you?
Not just a laundry list describing your idealized fantasy man (George Clooney & Warren Buffet and a touch of Antonio Banderas), but the deep true traits and characteristics in another you’ve learned through experience bring out the best in you
4. What are you willing to invest to meet this new love?
Nothing worth having is easily attained. You will need to invest some time and money, learn about midlife dating*, shift your priorities and leave your comfort zone. To make an omelet, you have to crack the egg. Are you ready to do that?
It’s not enough to simply think about your answers. You must WRITE THEM DOWN – EACH ONE! First draft – don’t hold anything back. Let ‘er rip. After your girlfriends have left and you’ve put the tequila away, revisit what you’ve written – over and over – until it’s a perfect reflection of you right now (everything is subject to change). Now print out your Dating Declaration and put it where you’ll see it on a daily basis: laptop, refrigerator, bathroom mirror – wherever. Review, refresh (as needed) and recommit to creating and attracting this new love – this new life. Feel it as if it already is. Revel in those feelings – secure in the knowledge that “What you focus on, expands.” (Oprah)
“WOMAN UP”: (my feminine version of “Man Up”) Congratulations! You’ve now got yourself healed, happy and clear. Your new life is shimmering before you like a Technicolor hologram. All that’s left for you is to step into it: to Show Up!
Look creatively at your vision and choose a few action steps. What works for you?
- Going to Sephora’s with your friends and having your makeup done?
- Visiting that new women’s fitness club around the corner?
- Lacing up your sneakers for a spring run/ game of tennis?
- Upping your community involvement/visibility?
- Spiffing up for your daily trip to Trader Joe’s?
- Pursuing a new passion that also attracts Good Available Men (GAM)?
- Signing up for that fascinating class through Community Education?
- Attending your upcoming high school reunion, looking like a million bucks?
- Inviting all the singles you know to an area dance venue?
- Asking all your married friends about all the GAM they know?
- Reading a fun, enlightening book about dating*?
- Creating an online dating profile?
- Calling that MidLife Dating Coach you’ve heard about?
As your mom would say,
“Shoulders back, chest out
Put a smile on your face
A song in your heart and a
Bounce in your step.”
You’re on your way, baby!
* My current fave books on dating:
- Modern Dating: A Field Guide by Chiara Atik (Apr 30, 2013)
- Get the Guy: Learn Secrets of the Male Mind to Find the Man You Want and the Love You Deserve by Matthew Hussey (Feb 11, 2014)
- Love at First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating by Laurie Davis (Jan 8, 2013)
- It’s Just a F***ing Date: Some Sort of Book About Dating by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola (Jul 16, 2013)
- Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match by Amy Webb (Jan 31, 2013)