When I was 45, sick of being single, and determined to meet my man, I turned to a therapist for help. At the time there were no dating coaches and very few psychotherapists who gave dating advice for women over 40.
Thankfully, being the nice Jewish gal that I am, I had no problem going straight to a shrink.
Lucky for all of us, now there is dating and relationship advice for women over 40 from all quarters. So, when I discovered Rachel Dack, who is both a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor AND a dating and relationship coach, I just had to pick her brain.
Here is my interview with Rachel:
You are a licensed psychotherapist, as well as a leading woman’s dating expert. What a great combination! Please share with us what you observe as the main barriers preventing women over 40 from achieving love?
The main barriers preventing women over 40 from achieving love are personal insecurities, lack of self-love and low self-esteem.
Feeling unworthy or undeserving of love paired with a lack of dating success causes some women to believe these negative beliefs are true and won’t change, which interferes with their ability to be hopeful and open around men.
These mental blocks create an unhealthy mindset about themselves, men, dating, love or relationships and unfortunately hold them back from creating genuine connections.
These women may be going on dates and meeting numerous available men, but their negative mindsets and self-sabotaging beliefs are problematic when reinforced over and over again.
They may desperately want a man, but they are faced with an inner conflict because they view men as the enemy who can’t be trusted.
They may play the victim, blame themselves for their dating failures, feel intense anger toward men or lead with sex.
They may play games, have unrealistic expectations, sabotage developing relationships or struggle to believe a man could genuinely be interested and therefore, they keep men at a distance.
Another main barrier women over 40 face is unresolved baggage, emotional wounds or trauma from the past.
So often the past trickles into the present and impacts dating, so despite many women feeling open and ready for love, they approach dating with walls and activated defense mechanisms for protection or they pick the wrong men altogether.
They may have a cynical or jaded view of men or relationships because they’ve been burned before and want to ensure they are not hurt again. It can feel challenging for them to keep hope alive and trust men.
Dating without a healthy, hopeful mindset and lack of resolution about the past leaves many women less available to high quality men.
Actively dating, putting ourselves “out there” can be exhausting! What self-care practices do you recommend that will boost our “dating” self-esteem and keep us from wearing out and even giving up?
Healthy self-care practices will make dating feel more tolerable and fun, despite the potential ups and downs and help you cultivate more self-love.
First, if dating isn’t going well or doesn’t feel natural to you, resist the urge to give yourself a hard time or put yourself down.
Dating advice for women over 40: “First, if dating isn’t going well or doesn’t feel natural to you, resist the urge to give yourself a hard time or put yourself down.”
There’s a lot you can do to make dating feel better and how you talk to yourself makes a big difference for your love life.
Understand that the healthier and happier you feel, the better dating will go, so do everything in your power to date as your best, most authentic and most confident self!
Here are some tips:
- Use strategies, such as visualizing the date going well, reciting an empowering mantra and using mindfulness or meditation exercises pre-date, to calm dating nerves and jitters.
- Participate in activities and hobbies that bring your joy or relaxation while ensuring your existence is more than constant dating.
- Make dating a priority, but also invest time in developing yourself as a whole person and taking care of yourself.
- Whether it’s a bubble bath, pedicure, brunch with girlfriends, jogging, yoga, travel, hike in nature or new hobby, self-care activities are there to rejuvenate you.
- Set an intention to meet each date with an open mind and heart and commit to learning and growing through each dating experience so you can date more mindfully and intentionally.
These practices will also breed more confidence and balance. It is so important to nurture yourself and your other relationships regardless of how dating is going.
A holistic approach to dating, healthy self-care practices, personal growth and freedom from the past will help you feel more empowered and lead to more successful dating outcomes.
Men “disappearing” or not calling us back after the first date or two (especially when they say they will) is so hard to deal with. What are your tips for dealing with dating rejection?
Rejection is unfortunately an inevitable part of dating, so be careful in assuming something is wrong with you or you are inadequate.
Regardless of how amazing you are, there will be some men who don’t want to date you and vice versa.
Getting rejected may actually have little to do with you and is often linked with his own emotional availability, maturity and timing. Long story short, rejection is unavoidable, no matter how much you have to offer.
Don’t take rejection personally or let your worth depend on what men/others think of you or your relationship status. This is a dangerous way to live!
Understand that dating is vulnerable and there is a high potential for rejection, but it’s worth it to find your special person.
It’s natural to need some time to bounce back from a rejection or breakup and that’s okay, but don’t give up on your dating and relationship goals.
Allow yourself to feel the pain and grieve the loss while staying aligned with your goals and learning from dating mistakes and mishaps.
If you are noticing patterns that may be contributing to being rejected (for example, multiple men say you appear cold, distracted or uninterested), do the work to cultivate insight and closure, learn important lessons and stay optimistic.
Rachel Dack is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), and dating and relationship coach for men and women. She is a relationship expert for eHarmony and is the leading women’s dating expert for http://www.datingadvice.com/. Rachel offers psychotherapy and coaching services in person and by phone through her private practice, Rachel Dack Counseling LLC, located in Bethesda, Maryland. Rachel’s areas of expertise include dating, relationships, self-esteem, anxiety, and breakups.
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