You must get rid of your preconceived notions about dating and men before you can find "the one."
This is the third in a series of articles sharing my 5 Keys to Finding Hope and Finding Him. The 5 Keys are:
M - Me and Me first.
A - Assess your list.
S - Shed your stuff.
T - Time to get out and Trail blaze.
R - Real women find their man.
I know you are a fabulous, smart, accomplished woman who has created a good life for herself. You're probably here, though, because there’s a missing piece. It's likely that you're still looking for love because there's something standing splat in your way. And that something is probably You.
Falling in love in your 40s, 50s and beyond is spectacular, and I see it happening around me every day. When two grownups connect, it seems easy and drama-free. You've both learned so much about yourself, people and life, and sharing that can be quite lovely.
But dating over 40 has its challenges: one of which is the layers of stuff that’s been piling on for years and years. Between our parents, the media, our unrequited crushes and our exes, it's no wonder we have some beliefs about dating and men that may not be too positive.
Do you ask yourself:
- Why am I not meeting any men?
- Why am I always interested in men who have no interest in me?
- Why do I go for the noncommittal guys?
- Why don’t they ever ask for a second date?
- Why do men only want sex from me?
If you are experiencing patterns like this, it's likely that you have some limiting beliefs standing in your way. These beliefs become your truth, and those truths are with you every day, creating roadblocks as you make your way through the world.
You may be very clear about some of your roadblocks, and others may be a complete mystery. I want to help you get to your truths. First, identify them by completing these sentences:
I am _______________
Men are _______________
Dating is _______________
Write these down, and then complete them with whatever comes to your mind without censoring yourself. Just keep writing.
The following are beliefs that came up the other night in a workshop I led with 20 single women. Do any of these sound familiar?
~I am… not the kind of gal who finds love; too busy for a relationship; only into guys who are tall, young, rich, funny; destined to be alone forever.
~Men are…only interested in sex; superficial, users; out for themselves; clueless; liars; going to hurt me; not interested in me.
~Dating is…painful; a waste of time; stupid; too hard.
Now, let's look at the truthfulness of your beliefs. Before you do, I want you to do two things:
Grab your Grownup Girl. She’s the one who makes good decisions, knows what she wants and how to get it, is nurturing and caring, has other loving and meaningful relationships in her life, has accomplished and overcome a lot, and is pretty darn smart.
Take a few minutes to think about the relationship you would love to have in your life. What is it like between the two of you? How do you want to feel with him? Write down some of those feelings.
When you're done, review your lists. And ask yourself: Is This True?
Here's why this really matters: your truths turn into behavior, your behavior turns into actions, and your actions create consequences. When you believe that ALL men are liars, how can you possibly trust a man. How do you think that translates to behavior? Do you interrogate him, hoping to "trip him up"? Are you tense and holding back? Do you read into things he says or does? If you do anything like this, he will see it and react accordingly. (If you think you’re covering it up, btw, you’re not. Men are smart and observant when they are seriously looking for a life partner.)
To help you, you may want to explore the origin of the belief. Is your belief based on:
- Being indoctrinated with someone else's truth
- Old news
- Reaction to a particular previous experience
- Protection from [fill in the blank]
When you believe something, you tend to look for validating evidence. It's human nature. What you think to be true…is. Because You created it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine."
It's time to shed the stuff that's getting in your way of enjoying yourself and connecting with the right men. If you find your belief to be false, dump it. It is no longer serving you. It's keeping you from your goal of finding that man to share the rest of your life.