Guest writer, Dee Frazier, Author of "Dating 101, Second, Third or Fourth Time Around" sends this article for our subscribers. And FYI, Dee has been featured on the Today Show as part of their “Finding Love After 40” series. She shares hundreds of tips, ideas, stories and antidotes to make the 45+ dating experience fabulous. Learn more through her website at www.theuniversityofdating.com. Let me know what you think!
SECRETS TO OVERCOMING THE GROWN-UP DATING DAZE!
by Dee Frazier
Are you wading around in the dating pool? Are you clueless of what the new rules are and bogged down with fear? Hesitating because the dating game has changed dramatically since you were in your 20s?
Sooner or later if you truly desire a relationship you must jump in. Make a big splash. When you decide that you are ready to play the dating game, look at it as an adventure.
The grown-up dating game has never been more interesting and challenging. There are more players than ever before. Why? Because of higher divorce rates, longer life spans, and a greater tendency to never marry. This contributes to more single Americans than at any other time in our country's history.
The U.S. Census Bureau tells us that of the 97 million Americans who are 45 or older, almost 40 percent 36.2 million are available singles. There is no shame in being single.
So here are five steps to cut through the confusion, eliminate the fear and re-define your experience of dating and being single as a journey of fun and learning that “It’s just a date – not the rest of your life.”
1. Pay attention to YOU
Learn what you need to be fulfilled as an individual. Focus on YOU! Think about how you are being when you are with yourself. Self inquire! Practice extreme self-care. Get buffed up!
Avoid gender bashing. If you have the state of mind that the opposite sex “did you wrong,” it will probably keep you immobilized and unable to have fun as a single person. Keep yourself from saying those things and eventually you will stop thinking them. One of the worst dates I have ever had was with a person who talked non-stop about how his ex-wife “took him to the cleaners.”
Unclutter your life. Realize that the clutter on the outside represents the clutter inside and that also means to get rid of the human vampires. Avoid contact with people who are energy drains.
Learn to say no. It's the first word you learned when you were two. Use it! It's your lifetime resource and you have the right to use it as you see fit, without comments from the peanut galley.
Take time for YOU. Time is short for all of us. Make a decision to set aside downtime that is just for you, even if you can only start with fifteen minutes a day.
2. Learn Self-acceptance.
Get off your own back! One of the good things about getting older is that you “have less to lose” and “much less to learn the hard way.” You won’t always do it right, but who cares. Confidence comes with self-acceptance. No more excuses about who you are and what you have done. Say: “I am here and I am glad and proud to be who I am.” Oh, by the way, being self-assured and self confident is very SEXY!
3. Learn to Flirt.
Effective flirting is simply a way to let people know that you noticed them and want to get to know them. Nothing more and nothing less. Keep it light and keep it fun. The most effective flirting always includes a smile and eye contact.
Flirting is a fun activity that everyone should engage in from time to time and thoroughly enjoy. When you take the fun out of flirting, it becomes a high-stress situation that has nothing to do with enjoying yourself. Keep it low pressure, just like dating. Flirting should be all fun and games.
4. Dump the excuses for not getting out.
- Aren’t you sick of saying the same old thing anyway?
- I’m too busy.
- I am waiting for the right person.
- The good ones are all married.
- All men/women are jerks.
- I can’t do this to the children.
- They’re all losers.
- It’s going to be a disaster.
- I’m not ready.
- No one will like me.
- I’ve been hurt too many times before.
Get off the couch and into life. I know it’s not easy, but once you try, it becomes easier. You will be amazed at what you find out there . . . yourself! Let me be the first to tell you . . . you won’t always do it right. So WHAT!?
5. Be the date you want to have.
Be interested and interesting. Be honest about who you are. No date masks, be compassionate and LISTEN!
Smile and keep smiling. Laugh and keep laughing. Find things that are funny and that make you laugh, like books and movies. You won’t find a happy person unless you become happy first.
Unless you develop a strong sense of self, the people who show up for dates will be like you. You want light? BE the light!
Commit to living each day with an open heart, and to enjoy the second half of your life. Rethink and reexamine your former beliefs, and know that you can have a joyous and fulfilling life no matter where you are in the process and always remember:
“It’s just a date – not the rest of your life.”