Jeff is newly single after over 15 years of marriage. He feels like he’s finally ready to think about dating again, though the very thought makes him shudder.
Not only is Jeff concerned that he’s “too old,” “not wealthy enough,” “not in good enough shape,” “not funny enough,” etc. to attract the kind of woman that he’s attracted to, he’s got another concern…
He is worried that he’ll run into the same annoying, irritating and emotionally painful patterns that were present in his marriage. He does NOT want to get together with a woman who’s just like his ex-wife. The last thing that Jeff wants to do is repeat history!
After noticing a good-looking woman, before he even gets up the nerve to go talk to her, questions like, “Will she be as controlling as my ex was?” “Will she be hyper-critical like my ex?” “Will she yell around and lose it over any little thing like my ex?”
The more these questions build in his mind, the less attracted to this complete stranger Jeff is. At the same time, Jeff is lonely. He doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life as a bachelor. He misses the companionship and the passion of being in a love relationship.
Are you a man or a woman who is looking for a new love relationship (or maybe even a new marriage)?
Do you feel stuck because a) you kind of forget how to play the “dating game” since it’s been so long AND/OR b) you are worried that you’ll just get yourself into another dissatisfying, conflict-ridden and heart-breaking relationship?
If any of these are true for you, the first thing we suggest you do is to slow down and take a deep breath. We know, it’s no fun to be alone when you don’t want to be. If you are getting pressure from friends and family that “it’s time to date again,” this only adds to the urgency you might feel.
Here’s what we know to be true (for just about everyone)…
Attracting a partner who is a perfect match will happen when the time and conditions are right.
You can attend singles’ events. You can use online dating sites. And, please do these thing if you want to do them– they can be fun and you can also meet interesting people this way, maybe even people you will date.
But, what is perhaps the most important thing you can do is to get yourself lined up for the kind of partner and relationship you want. A lot of this happens inside of you. When you take these steps (that aren’t really in any order), the actions that you take will almost always be more effective and more positive too.
Step #1: Know what you want.
This can be fun. Get very clear within yourself about what kind of partner you DO want. It’s possible that your past experiences have made it quite obvious what you do NOT prefer and what you really dislike in a relationship.
Turn those “I hate…” and those “it really gets on my nerves when…” assertions into statements of what you ARE looking for and what you WOULD enjoy.
It might be tempting to look through magazines, point to attractive models and say to yourself, “I am looking for someone with those abs, that butt, that chest, etc.” We don’t recommend that, actually. There’s nothing wrong with admiring the physical attributes of a person– even models whose images have probably been airbrushed.
But, you’re probably thinking too narrowly if this is your primary focus. Yes, physical attractiveness is something to get clear about, but try to keep your possibilities open as you define what that is for you.
If you’re having a difficult time with this, ask yourself what your ideal Saturday night with your perfect match would be like. What kinds of activities would you two do together? How would you feel when you’re with this person? Use questions like these to get started.
Step #2: Release your past.
If there’s one thing that will surely doom your chances at a new relationship, it’s you holding onto the past. Whether you’re fixated on the good or the bad memories you have of your ex, the dominance of these memories will stand in the way of you attracting the kind of partner you really want.
When people find themselves in what feels like the same relationship dynamic again and again– only with different people– it’s generally because there’s something about that dynamic that has not been resolved.
This is part of the reason why people who believe that they will “always be lied to and cheated on” regularly have that relationship experience. There is something about that dynamic, that often involves low expectations, mistrust, jealousy, lying and infidelity, that has yet to be sorted through and released.
The result is that, like a magnet, the person tends to attract the same, painful experience in seemingly every relationship.
It’s doesn’t have to be this way.
Make a conscious effort to let your past go. Learn from what happened. Be aware of your own habits and patterns that might have contributed to the dynamic that you can’t seem to get away from AND deliberately let it go. Making completions can help.
This is a process and can take some time. Be patient and give yourself what you need.
Step #3: Interact with each new person and situation from a present-focused perspective.
The freer you are of your past, the freer you are to attract the perfect match for you. When you are interacting with new people or people you already know, be present.
Keep your mind, body and all of you in the here and now. If your attention begins to wander back to the past, to limiting beliefs you have about yourself or anything other than this person you are with, return to the present moment.
Make eye contact and really listen to what the other person has to say. Consider his or her words and respond in genuine and honest ways. When the sparks for passion and romance are there, you’ll know!