So here you are, your divorce is final, you survived litigation or whatever process you chose and things are finally quieting down. Now what? Oh yeah…that dating thing.
It’s been at the back of your mind, you’ve thought about it, maybe even felt excitement about it, but now things are getting real. Anxiety is bubbling up and your mind is filled with all of the stories about dating you’ve heard from friends, maybe seen on talk shows, or perhaps you’ve even taken a peek at a site or two, only to be freaked out.
So, let me calm your fears as I put on my mentoring hat and share a little wisdom with you.
Don’t make it bigger than it is: What I have seen over the last 16 years as a relationship expert is that people tend to make dating bigger than it needs to be. If you listen to, or focus on the negative things you have heard you could be developing a negative bias. This negative bias will insidiously undermine your perception of dating and ultimately your success. So take a deep breath. Calm your fears about dating and don’t rush into any of it without a plan. Remember that you’re on a journey, not a race.
And speaking of racing…
There is no fast track to love: the main reason the modern dating world has such a bad rap is because people (and I’m going to be blunt here and say women in particular), are doing it all wrong. Many of you ladies are on a fast track to love and are hoping to bypass the dating process, crossing the finish line without doing any of the work. You’re ready to jump right into the first relationship that comes along just so you can get yourself off that dating site and into the arms of some stranger. Then about six months in, it crashes and burns. You’ll find yourself frustrated, disappointed and in emotional pain. Perpetuating the whole “dating sucks” story. And worst of all, you have to reset and get out there…again. BUT, if you’re willing to slow down, acknowledge and accept that there is no fast track to love, while embracing the dating process, you’ll have a more successful dating outcome.
You should create a plan, and part of the plan is to really think about what the right partner will look like for you.
Think about the type of person you really want to meet: Now here’s where things get tricky. What I’m actually suggesting here is not tied with physical appearance. What I am talking about is what type of person will meet your needs, cherish you and share your values. While I understand the need for chemistry (of course there needs to be chemistry), what I’m suggesting is you should think beyond chemistry. Like I’ve said, I’ve been doing this for 16 years. I know the typical wants…height, level of success, and or if they are an Alpha…just to name a few. But don’t forget the more important things like: compassion, emotional availability, shared values like; family first, friendship and someone who can communicate well.
You need to know that there really are wonderful men and women out there. I know, because every day I work with people who find them. We create a plan, coach through the process and in the end – with discipline and patience – they typically meet their match. These starting points are just the tip of the iceberg, but they can get you through the initial hurdles and at least get you out there. Just remember, good luck and you’ve got this!