When you think of dating – especially if you're ready to try online dating – do you experience any fear? Do you get even a tiny twinge of trepidation or terror?
If your answer is "yes," you are not alone. In fact, I think you're among the majority.
The women I'm coaching often tell me about situations they describe as "scary." Here are some examples:
• He wants to meet in person after just one email.
• He asked her where she lived.
• He's beginning to get touchier and seems to want sex; she likes him but is not ready.
• He texted her with a question loaded with sexual innuendo.
I get it. When I was dating, some of this scared me, too. I remember thinking "Crap! What do I do?" and feeling super uncomfortable.
Now, as an amazingly happily married woman, I can look back and see that I actually felt fear. Real, physical fear. And now I know why: because I felt out of control.
In these situations I felt like I was not in charge. I felt somewhat powerless. That was definitely not a place where I was at all happy.
So I learned to take control of the process. That's what I teach my clients, and I recommend you do that as well.
Note what I said: Take control of the process. I didn't say the people or the relationships. You have no control over what other people do, but you have 100% control over what you do, right?
Here are a few ways to get that control:
• Know and honor yourself.
• Be clear about what you want in a man and a relationship, and do not compromise on your must-haves.
• Visualize and/or plan how you would like to meet, date and relate with men.
• Establish your boundaries and stick to them.
• Learn how to communicate your boundaries and essential needs.
• Be ready to leave if, after clear and kind communication, he does not agree to meet your needs.
• Respect the men you meet and treat them kindly—and expect the same in return.
If these are not in your current dating repertoire, I encourage you to commit to doing what it takes to get there. You will most likely need to do some honest self-reflection and make a renewed commitment to learning and growing.
The payoff is gigantic. You will become more open to meeting men, feel more relaxed when you are with them, and make much better choices in the men you choose to spend time with. Men – at least the good guys – will respect you for knowing what you want and taking care of yourself.
That's all good stuff, but here is the most important part: You will feel an incredible love and respect for yourself.
This is about taking care of yourself and realizing you can date the way you want to date. Again, you can't (and don't want to) control other people, but you can absolutely control the most significant elements of your experience.
You don't have to be afraid, because you are a smart, in control, magnificent woman. let men know it!
Bobbi Palmer is The Dating and Relationship Coach for Women over 40. At 47 she became a first-time bride and now shares her successes - and mistakes - to help other women over 40 find love. Read her blog and get her free e-Course "The 7 Major Dating Mistakes Women over 40 Make in Their Search for Love."
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