What are your fears about dating and looking for your mate? I had tons of things I was afraid of when I was dating.
Mostly, I dreaded rejection with what felt like primal fear. With every rejection I was more convinced that I’d end up living my life alone; without the love and affection of a man.
I dated for 30 years. I would go on a frenzy and date several times a week, and then I’d take a dating hiatus for months on end. I tried and gave up 100 times over the years.
Then, I finally learned something that freed me. It gave me the courage to go out there and keep at it; knowing I could take whatever came my way.
At age 47, I met and married the man of my dreams, with whom I just celebrated my 4 year wedding anniversary. Here is the simple truth that changed the way I approached dating.
When you look closely at the challenges and disappointments you’ve experienced in your life, and contrast those to the perils of dating, dating isn’t very scary.
Maybe you’ve experienced divorce, challenges with children and parents, addictions, money troubles, friendships that fell apart, serious illness or death. You’ve made your way through some major stuff, sister, and you’ve come out the other end a stronger, smarter and better person.
Seriously…being rejected by a man is the least of your problems. You have slain way worse dragons.
Fortitude: Strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage.
It’s true that the emotional intensity we feel around dating and mating can make us feel super vulnerable and that the discomfort sometimes seems unbearable. It makes us want to avoid even the possibilities of the pain. It can be so deep and personal.
I think it’s because of this that we don’t apply the same strengths and talents to dating as we do to the other aspects in our lives.
Regardless, when you look at what you’ve overcome and accomplished in your life, and at the payoff of finding a good man who will love and adore you, going forward with courage seems to be the only option.
Your fortitude — the same you’ve shown in the other parts of your life — will keep you from giving up before you figure out how to get what you want.
Your wisdom — the same you’ve shown in the other parts of your life — will help you figure out what you need to learn or change to get what you want.
In my eBook, 7 Secrets to Finally Finding Love After 40, I share my personal journey and my “commandments” to help you find the same happiness I have found.
Here are my Four Commandments of Fortitude with Men.
1. Don’t talk yourself out of it.
Not only do you want this and deserve it, you have the wherewithal to get it. Yes, you may have to make changes and learn some new things like you have done to achieve many other things in your life.
We all experience rejection, confusion, self-doubt, and fears of all kinds when we actively pursue love. If you’re going to use self-talk (which is something I’m expert at) use it to your advantage.
Nix the “this is useless, I will never find anyone, I’m better off alone” talk. Replace it with “I know how to get what I want, I deserve a great man, I will figure this out.” Congratulate yourself for your commitment to reach for your dreams, and keep reminding yourself that this is achievable.
2. If nothing else it’s about learning and growing.
There are very few experiences a woman may have that warrant a decision to stop looking for love. Save those, every conversation, email, or date you have will teach you something new about yourself and men. Like anything else you do, the more you learn the better you get.
Actively look for these moments. Take every opportunity to ask yourself if you made good decisions, if you were authentic, if he was a man worth pursuing, if you were kind to him and to yourself. Keep your focus on positive forward movement and it will propel you toward your goal (and let you have fun along the way).
3. Perspective, perspective, perspective.
Being rejected by a man or feeling like you’ve somehow missed an opportunity for connection with a great guy is a minor obstacle compared to what you’ve risen above in your life. It may feel like it stings in a big way, but in reality it’s no harder than snagging that client, winning that race, creating that great relationship with your child, or getting that promotion.
You have an otherwise full and satisfying life that you’ve worked hard to achieve. Joyful dating and finding love is the icing on the cake.
If you have trouble remembering this, at least remember Commandment #2. There are no bad dates or wasted chances. Everything you do in your search for love brings you closer to finding it.
4. Keep your eyes on the prize.
Whether your goal is to find everlasting love, or to simply enjoy dating and find a companion, keep focused and try to shut out all the other noise. Like anything that is truly precious and meaningful in your life, you can do the work to get to the goal.
Part of fortitude is not giving up before you figure out how to get what you need. If you’ve been dating for some time and you haven’t been having fun or haven’t found your special man, my wish for you is that you find the strength of mind and courage not to give up before you figure it out.
Remember, you are not alone. Reach out for support and information. Find a class, connect with a coach, read a book, talk to men and women in good relationships.
Your wisdom and fortitude will lead you to that kind, loving man you have been hoping for. Stick with it.
If you want to read more about my personal journey and get my step-by-step instruction and advice, get my FREE ebook My 7 Secrets to Finally Finding Love After 40.