Here you are, a single woman in midlife, are you ready to date?
Whether you're new to the game or have been at it for far longer than you would like, dating in midlife is not always easy. The first question new clients often ask is, "How can I tell if I am ready to date?"
Before you jump back into this pool of dating over 40, (and all the rules have changed by the way) how can you be sure that you're ready to date?
And if you are ready to date, how can you tell if you are ready to meet your life partner?
First things first when dating over 40, how well do you meet the following relationship-ready criteria?
1. You’ve "processed" your breakup.
You are past shame and blame, you see clearly how this last relationship went sour and take responsibility for your decisions. If you're still blaming your ex for all he did wrong, you are not yet seeing your part in the situation and you will likely repeat a similar pattern in your next relationship.
2. You've given yourself time to "re-collect."
You have taken the time to focus on loving yourself first. You value yourself as a woman — physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, and see yourself as a real catch.
3. You're looking to be with your ideal partner.
You're are not avoiding the prospect of being alone. Your motivation is love and not fear and you are not willing to settle for less than the best relationship for you at this point in your life.
4. You're aware of your past patterns.
And you know how to avoid repeating them going forward. You’ve done the personal work to see those patterns clearly and have cleared those patterns away.
5. You're clear on who you are, your value, and your values.
You know what you want (not need) most in a partner going forward. You can’t attract someone to love you more than you love yourself.
True love always starts with you. You are also clear on what you value in life and in a partner. What are your non-negotiables? How well does your current partner meet them? Beware of compromise. This may be what went wrong in previous relationships.
6. You know how to date mindfully.
Increasing your chances at success by filtering in potential partners who align with your values, and filtering out those who do not. You have an online profile (if you decide to go that route) that is designed to attract your ideal mate to you.
7. You're ready to trust your gut and say "yes" to love.
When your ideal partner shows up at your door, you are ready to say "yes" to love. Walls have come down and you are open to receive. There’s nothing more vulnerable or rewarding than to open your heart to love.
You have to be ready to receive love and trust your gut, step by step, day by day, allowing more and more of this good juicy love in. It can literally be a cathartic, spiritual experience when it happens for the very first time.
No relationship comes with guarantees (oh, if only we could get a replacement device or our hearts back!).
There are layers to getting to know someone in a new relationship that can only happen with time. Be willing to take the time. Be patient. Be open. Be awake. Be love.
Debra Boulanger is an expert in how to find love in midlife. She is also the creator of The Great Do-Over Retreats where she coaches clients in the basic tenants of how to clear away doubt and fear and live a courageous life. You can learn more about her practice here, or contact her directly here.
This article was originally published at The Great Do-Over. Reprinted with permission from the author.