Wisdom: The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment.
Fortitude: Strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage.
Do you sometimes feel scared of dating and going after meeting your mate boldly and like the strong grownup woman you are?
Contrast those to other challenges and disappointments in your life. Are you really so afraid that it’s worth staying single?
You’ve slain greater dragons in your life than this, my friend.
I get it.
The emotional intensity we feel around dating and mating can create such vulnerability and discomfort that it seems ominous (or at least like something we want to avoid).
But really? Being rejected by a man can be the least of the challenges in your life.
The benefit of being in our 40s, 50s, and 60s is our clarity about what we want (our wisdom) and our ability to overcome obstacles to get it (our fortitude).
Here’s my advice to help you stop being scared of dating so can find your love.
I call this my Four Commandments of Fortitude with Men.
1. Don’t talk yourself out of it.
Not only do you want this and deserve it, but you have the wherewithal to get it.
We all experience moments of rejection, confusion, self-doubt, and fears of all kinds when we actively pursue love. Okay, fine. But you can use self-talk to deal with that so you don’t let it stop you.
Nix the “this is useless, I will never find anyone, I’m better off alone” talk. Replace it with the “I usually get what I want, I deserve a great man, I know how to do this, I will figure this out” talk.
2. If nothing else, it’s about learning and growing.
There are very few experiences that warrant a decision to stop looking for love. Save those, every conversation, email, or date you have will be able to teach you something new about yourself or men.
Like anything else you do, the more you learn, the better you get. In the worst case, you may not find your lifetime partner, but you’ll have a lovely and fun time looking!
You have to actively look for these moments. If he responded positively to you, why do you think he did that? (I know! Because you’re fabulous. Own it!)
If you expected him to call but he didn’t, what does that teach you about him or about yourself? (Remember, if he doesn’t call, it’s just about him; it’s not about you or all men.)
Are you making good decisions? Are you being authentic when you meet men? Do you practice kindness to them and to yourself? Asking yourself these questions — even trying to look at things from his perspective — will keep you learning and focusing on positive forward movement.
3. Perspective, perspective, perspective.
Being rejected by a man or feeling like you’ve somehow ruined an opportunity for connection with a great guy is a minor obstacle compared to what you’ve risen above in your life.
You have faced and overcome many challenges. You have an otherwise full and satisfying life that you’ve worked hard to achieve, right? 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. As long as you keep searching.
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 reach your goal with a little work and some courage .
Part of fortitude is not giving up before you figure out how to get what you need. Part of wisdom is figuring out what you need before you give up.
If you’ve been dating for some time and haven’t been having fun or found your special man, my wish for you is that you allow yourself to find the strength of mind and gather your courage. Absolutely do not give up before you figure it out and find your loving lifetime mate.
He introduced himself to me 5 years ago and I felt an instant, emotional and spiritual connection…but he was married. He shared with me that his wife of 40 years was extremely ill and when she died 3 years ago I gave him a big hug. We live in a small, rural community and I see him coming and going practically every day. We enjoy a casual repartee and I definitely feel (felt?) like we are friends. He has even stopped by my house a couple of times…I put my hand on his hand while we talked last time- but he left in a hurry when I invited him in for coffee. Recently we ran into each other at the store and he rested his arm around my shoulders as we chit chatted. He looked back as he was walking away and I had the distinct impression that he was going to say something to me but then changed his mind. I want so badly to spend time with him that I’ve begun to get up early to go to breakfast knowing he will be there. My only wish at this point is to create an environment for our friendship to deepen and grow- but our conversations have become awkward, formal and clipped. I want to a ask him out but don’t know how and am fearful that I might be intruding on his grief…