You took the plunge and put yourself out there. It might be 10 years or longer since you’ve dated, and I realize the thought of dating again is equal parts I can’t wait to see what’s out there, and damn, this shit is hard.
It’s such a mixed bag of emotions. It’s a rush, it’s exciting, it’s scary, and it can bring out all your insecurities. You’ve had kids; you’ve changed; you are not the woman you used to be before you got married. You are busy; you have gray hair; you are tired; you feel you failed at one relationship and aren’t deserving of another. We’ve all thought these things at some point — you aren’t alone.
It’s easy to go down a rabbit hole and think you aren’t going to be enough for a new partner. But if you are struggling out in the dating world, you need to stop thinking that shit right now. Seriously. Just stop it.
Because if you’ve gone on dating sites, done the swipe left or swipe right thing a few times and didn’t get a “like” back, if you’ve made the first move and asked out a friend only to get a lukewarm response, the natural reaction is to look inward and think it has something to do with you. But it doesn’t. It simply means that person is not meant to be in your life in that way at that time.
So don’t start thinking it’s because you have too many kids, are too busy, are too career-driven, are too old, or really should find a different way to wear your hair and put on real pants more often. And don’t you dare think, Who do I think I am trying to date again? I quit.
Stop letting these thoughts run through your head. How about instead of wondering if someone will pick you, you take the wheel and start driving. Stop the self-doubt and recognize that if someone isn’t willing to get to know you, go on dates, or explore a relationship with you, it’s the universe doing the weeding out for you.
Because when someone really wants to be with you, you will know. They will show up and bring their best, and if they are just offering orgasms with a side of stress, that’s not enough. I know you want the real deal; we all do regardless of what we say, so wait for it.
Here’s your pep talk: You are amazingly awesome and the universe will match you with someone who will add to your life, not take anything away from it. Trust.
If you are ready to put yourself out there, you absolutely should, but only when you are ready. Try not to get too frustrated (even though you might feel like hoarding cats and spending your Saturday nights alone with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s) because finding The One is not easy. Be picky, and don’t settle, because you deserve all the fucking love in the world. Don’t stop until you find what you want, and in the process, don’t deem yourself unlovable just because someone doesn’t want what you want.
Stop waiting to be chosen. Go out there and make the first move when you want. Say no when you want and without apology. Put yourself out there knowing the best is yet to come and you aren’t going to compromise the qualities you want in a partner — they are out there and they are trying to find you too.
But in the meantime, you do you. Pursue your passions. Focus on self-love. You aren’t doing this to take a beating. You are dating again because we all want and deserve a loving relationship. Even though you might feel like giving up, you are getting closer and closer — not necessarily to finding The One, but closer to your true self. And that’s the real prize.
So stop with the negative self-talk and install that dating app, go on that blind date, or curl up on the couch every evening for a few months (or years) until you are ready to look for what you want without compromising and feeling so rejected. The universe knows what it’s doing — trust me.
A single mom who is finding her way in the dating game again
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