I get it. Dating at this age can be very frustrating. Time after time, you get dressed up in your best “date outfit”, get your nails and hair done, apply your makeup, and put on a happy face. This time, you’re excited.
Finally, after months of meeting boring or inconsiderate men, you’ve connected with an interesting, nice-looking, seemingly high-functioning guy. Your phone conversations have been wonderful. You begin to let down your guard and open up to him. You allow yourself to hope that maybe he’s the guy for whom you can finally close out your online dating profiles for good. You are excited for the first time in ages.
After a few phone calls, you meet. The first date is fantastic! You’re the last to leave the restaurant. He walks you to your car. As he passionately kisses you goodnight, he whispers in your ear, “I had a great time. I really like you. I’ll call you tomorrow.” You can’t stop smiling as you drive home. And then you never hear from him again.
Ouch! You ask yourself, “What happened? Did I say or do something that turned him off?” You replay the date over and over in your mind, searching for what went wrong. What happened to prompt him to think, “Gee, that Sally’s a nice woman and we had a lot of fun, but she’s not right for me.” You feel rejected and begin to lose hope that you’ll ever find love. “Is my picker off? Are all men jerks?” you wonder. “Maybe I should just stop dating. It’s way too painful.’
Why you shouldn’t stop dating
It’s often a mystery why a seemingly perfect first date becomes a disappearing act. Poof! Where did he go? There are so many reasons why men disappear or don’t want to date you again. But do you REALLY want to know why he disappeared?
Let’s say you found out the truth…
1. His old girlfriend just came back into his life.
2. His mother got sick and he flew home to be with her.
3. He is only looking for a fling and realized you were looking for a long-term relationship.
4. He is only attracted to blondes and you’re a brunette.
5. He’s still married and lied to you.
Notice that none of the above reasons have anything to do with rejecting you.
99% of the time, when a man doesn’t call back, it has nothing to do with you. Think of it this way: would you want to date a poor communicator? Because that’s what this guy often is, a cowardly communicator, someone who’s afraid to tell you the truth. He slinks away instead of calling you. I don’t know about you, but my idea of a great guy is someone who knows how to talk when things get tough.
The other thing to remember is that dating is a bit of a numbers game. If you’re seeking a lasting, loving relationship, you’re looking for only ONE special person. Most of the men you meet will NOT be right for you. That’s only logical. Of course there are the rare exceptions, those who meet their beloved right out of the gate. But for most people, it takes time to meet the right person. Dating is a learning process. Each date is your teacher. You’re learning about the qualities in a partner that you can’t live with and those you can’t live without. Something that you thought was a “must-have” two years ago gets bumped down to a “nice-to-have” after multiple dates with men who are not right for you.
Why you shouldn’t stop dating
If you stop dating, you probably won’t meet many men. And if you don’t meet men, how can you find love? While you’re dating all those man-teachers, find a way to enjoy the process. The journey is as important as the destination. Why? Let’s say you wanted to become president of your company. You work hard every day, often staying late into the night. You even come in on the weekends. You’re exhausted, eating poorly, and you’re losing touch with family and friends. But you want that seat at the top. That’s all you focus on for a year. And finally, all that hard work pays off. You’re the president of the company! You celebrate! You’re so excited! And a week or two later, you’re feeling a little sad. A little empty. You’ve reached your goal. Now what? The journey has been miserable. Was it worth it? You begin looking for your next big goal. And so on and son on. Tal Ben-Shahar, Harvard professor of positive psychology and author of “Happier”, calls this type of person the rat racer. They focus only on the big ticket goal, but they don’t enjoy the journey along the way. Their happiness is fleeting.
To paraphrase Seth Godin:
Unaddressed, it compounds into frustration.
And frustration is the soul killer, the destroyer of relationships.
The solution is pretty simple: address the unhappiness.
Actual intention (and action) in digging deeper is difficult work. If it doesn’t feel like you’re working at it, you’re probably not doing it right.
Doing internal work is the key to addressing your unhappiness and frustration in dating.
Part of that internal work is knowing you’re always at choice. This one internal shift can turn a victim mentality into an empowerment mentality.
- Reacting to dating frustration/rejection with anger or blame?
- Trying to control the outcome of every date/relationship?
- Emotionally distant or aloof to try and protect yourself from getting hurt?
- Holding onto your ex (in a positive or negative way) and comparing every man to him?
- Hoping a man will “save you” and make your challenging life better?
Tired of feeling devalued or misunderstood by the men you date? You might be making these 3 common mistakes. Click here to discover how to attract the love you deserve.
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Sandy (and two other fabulous dating coaches) will be in Boston to help YOU find the perfect guy online at BA50′s “Better Dating After 50″ Event on December 7. To find out more, click here!