Why is it that when we date — even at 40, 50, or 60 — we can become an alien woman from planet WTF? If you’re anything like I was, it’s sometimes difficult to recognize yourself when you’re in the presence of a hot, nice, or simply available man.
The beliefs and habits of our 25 or 30 year old can be hard to shake.
Here’s what I finally learned, that I want you to know: You are a grownup woman. You know who you are, what you want, and you’re in charge in the other parts of your life, right?
Well, you’re that same smart, kind, lovely woman when you date! You don’t have to settle with a man who isn’t worthy of your affection or attention. You don’t need him unless he’s adding to your already great life. You don’t need to change everything about yourself; real grownup men looooove the woman you already are…if only you’d show that woman to him.
Here’s some things I want you to do:
- Think of dating like you think of choosing friends or choosing a job. Make well-informed decisions that are best for you in the long term; not just for today.
- Say “yes” to the men who are good companions and make you feel good about yourself; and say “no” to those who are not. (“Hot” does not a good man make…for more than a week or two.)
- Stay conscious in the process. Stay grounded in your intellect, and always be focused on taking care of your grownup self.
- Think of dating and finding love as one more thing you are doing to make yourself happy and better yourself. It’s like taking an anthropology class, going to the spa, or planning a trip to Paris. I’m serious. This can be fun and it doesn’t have to take over your entire being.
- While you look for Mr. I Love You, just continue to enjoy your already full life. And if it’s not full, get started making it so.
- Let the people you love support you. Including me. Talk to us, share your hopes, listen to us when we tell you how spectacular you are.
Is it always fun? No. Will you feel bad at times when the insecure 18 year old rears its ugly head? You betcha. But the good news is that you don’t have to give it much of an audience. Perspective is a wonderful thing; if we remember to apply it. Seriously, girlfriend, you’ve survived far worse things in your life than a man saying no to you.
Have fun, love yourself, and get out there and start meeting and dating like a grownup: with confidence and grace. You are in charge.
I know I’ve said this before, but I’m going to keep saying it until you believe it: The secret to being a happy dater is to be YOU.
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