Start With the Right Mindset
By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT
People are attracted to confident, self-assured individuals. If you approach dating from a place of insecurity and fear, it will project to everyone you meet. A healthy woman is not looking for a father-figure or someone to rescue her. She wants a mate, a confidant, a partner, and friend in life. To attract that kind of man you have to come across as a desirable, self-confidant woman, and that involves doing the inner work.
If your insecurities are substantial, get private counseling before starting on the road to dating. If what you need is a spirit boost, look yourself in the mirror and acknowledge all your desirable qualities, then make a list of your many attributes, talents, and positive personality traits. Start believing in yourself and knowing that there is someone out there who will appreciate who you are.
Become aware of your self-talk. Catch yourself putting yourself down, calling yourself fat, boring, stupid, or any other term you may have previously used to make yourself feel less valuable to the world. Start consciously calling yourself “a babe” or “a great catch,” and begin visualizing yourself laughing and walking hand-in-hand with someone special. Keep mentally affirming, “I deserve a great man, and I’m attracting him into my life,” or some other phrase that resonates with you. Start anticipating success and feeling like the woman you want to be. Know you deserve to share your life and attributes with some other very lucky person — because you found each other!
Here are ten tips for developing a meaningful relationship and avoiding dating disasters:
1. Be aware of unresolved baggage from your past which would sabotage your present relationship. Identify your feelings of anger, hurt, pain, guilt, and disillusionment and accept these feelings as lessons learned. It then becomes easier to move on.
2. Avoid “fairy-tale” thinking. It’s not your partner’s job to make you happy. It is your responsibility to be all you can be when you enter a relationship. Dependency and neediness are not attractive qualities, so don’t assume anyone can meet all your needs or desires.
3. The basis for a healthy relationship is friendship. This level of comfort translates into a solid foundation for love to blossom and intimacy to develop. In other words, be friends first before you open the door to the physical and emotional closeness that is so essential to a solid partnership.
4. Be sure your expectations are realistic. Are your demands about weight, age, height, financial success and other factors limiting your ability to find the right partner who will love and appreciate you? You must be flexible, objective and fair in your expectations, so you don’t set yourself up for pain and disappointment.
5. Be able to communicate effectively by encouraging open, honest dialogues. Be attuned to nonverbal cues and body language that can trigger messages and unconscious signals to your partner.
6. Notice any uncomfortable behaviors that would be a sign of impending abuse. Jealously, quick attachment, mood swings, anger issues, verbal threats or distorted accusations are the “red flags” that spell caution.
7. Stop sacrificing yourself for the sake of your partner. It’s important to be flexible whenever possible, while maintaining the values, integrity and standards that are important to you.
8. Trust your intuition, which is that part of you with knowledge vital to your well-being. This internal antenna continually sends you messages and if anything or anyone makes you feel uneasy, don’t ignore it.
9. Successful relationships are built on mutual respect. Therefore, the more you focus on negative aspects of your partner, the more you will deny yourself the positive, attractive aspects you noticed when you first started dating.
10. Maintain your individual interests, including friends, activities and professional goals. You must be able to orchestrate your life and not feel smothered.
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Want easy access to 99 tips for successful dating after 40? Grab your copy of 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 & Yes, 60! by Rosalind Sedacca, CCT and Amy Sherman, LMHC, available in both print and digital formats. Visit: http://www.womendatingafter40.com.