Dating for people over the age of forty has become a huge subject. Statistically, 53% of women in the United States are over forty and single! In addition, there are now more single people in the US than married people, counting for the upswing in dating sites, singles events, and divorce groups. Currently, for every 86 unmarried men there are 100 unmarried women, creating an unbalanced playing field to chose from. How can you approach the dating arena with confidence? What are some key factors to embrace as you walk through the minefield of dating?
Love who you are!
Self-love after divorce or a serious break-up is a challenge, not to mention the wounds and scars many of us carry around from our childhoods. To love who you are, is to love and accept yourself no matter what, and then in turn to love and accept whomever shows up in your life. If you harbor un-forgiveness toward yourself or any one else, you create a negative self-perception that permeates everything you do and every potential partner you meet. How can you grow in self-love? (Click here for my self-esteem video.) I have a strategy that I still use to this day, and it’s always worked for me. I look into the mirror while placing my hands around my throat (because the throat is the center of change in the body) and I repeat twenty times while looking myself in the eye, “I love you Suzanne.” At first, this is very hard, but if you persist, you will notice the fear and self-loathing give way to self-love and acceptance. My other technique is to ask for it! I close my eyes, and ask God, higher power, etc., to please download self-esteem into my heart and soul. Try this, and watch what a huge difference it makes!
You cannot fabricate happiness. You can smile and laugh, but that it not happiness. Happiness is a daily exercise that extends beyond events and other people, into an unquantifiable realm of peace and joy. I look at peace as a practice and a choice. One of my key phrases is, I choose peace. Every morning I get up and meditate for about twenty minutes, during which I focus on the above phrase. (Click here for my meditation video.) In time, I have noticed that people and situations bother me much less, and I’m able to maintain my own calm in the midst of the firestorms of life. Do not underestimate the beauty of a peaceful and happy heart! Happiness is not only attractive; it draws other happy people to it, which bodes well in the minefield of dating. One of the absolute best gages of a potential partner is do they make me feel good? How can you bring happiness to someone else if you cannot create it in your own life?
Inner House Cleaning
Meditation can be incredibly challenging because it forces you to be with yourself and all your negative self-talk and perceptions. Sometimes, if I feel I am packing around anger or frustration around a certain event or person, I chose a time and place when I can process out of that feeling. To do this, I allow myself to feel the feelings I am avoiding. For example, a man I was dating decided he didn’t want to be in an exclusive relationship, and I cannot be in one that is not, so we broke up. I felt angry, hurt, and disappointed that yet another man was out the door. I felt like garbage. So I took a garbage bag and wrapped myself up in it, sat on the floor, and allowed myself time to feel like garbage. After crying, hitting a pillow, and saying all I needed to say about the event out loud, I wore myself out and let it go. When I got up off the floor, I had forgiven him and myself. To this day, we are still friends, and I don’t hold any resentment over the breakup.
As women, we are taught to be humble and self-effacing, while men are taught the exact opposite! In business and in dating, a person who cannot state with confidence the benefits they bring to the table will not be successful. So brag! Everyday, write down five things you are proud of with yourself. Even if it’s just that you got out of bed that day! It is therapeutic and inspiring to view your life from the perspective of your strengths, rather than what you did wrong. Bragging is a powerful way to attract a partner who respects your strengths.
Update Your Look
Beauty is both inside and outside, you cannot separate the two! Keeping balanced between both sides leads to a peaceful sense of self-esteem. Do not look to the beauty and fashion industry to give you any surety, for they make money off of your insecurity and desire to be accepted by others! How can you feel good about your appearance with so much negativity tossed at you everyday from the media? The basis of everything is self-love, and then making choices about what you will do to highlight your physical qualities within a manageable budget. Sometimes, it’s important to get advice about what looks good or what to buy, which is where people like me come in. Hiring a makeup artist and/or a stylist can help you only buy what works and helps you step out of the box most of us live in when it comes to our appearance.