Refocusing the Dating Game

I had a really bad, emotional day today. I was very sensitive and felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster. Initially, I didn’t realize it was happening. I was just reacting instead of thinking much about it. When I realized I was on the “roller coaster”, I started to do the things I needed to do to calm down and get grounded again. Tonight, I did my meditation that always centers me, and I felt much better.

I just recently got back in the online dating game, and it always throws me for a loop. There are fun things about dating online, but there are a whole host of things that are emotionally charged. For one, there is rejection, and then there is the fear of rejection. Not only am I getting rejected quite frequently, but I’m having to reject others. It’s just part of the game. And, for me, being on either end of rejection is triggering.

The worst thing I’m experiencing as a Midlife single is the concern over how much time I have left. I know it sounds silly, but it’s a pretty common fear. How do I know this? Well, at one point when I started dating again, I hired a dating coach. I know. It sounds crazy, but I didn’t know how to date, and I didn’t know how to online date. I’m a big fan of coaches. One of the first things she told me is that she knew I was feeling like I had to hurry and find somebody, or I was going to be too old to date. I felt like she read my mind. She said everybody feels that way, and I need to let it go. I started thinking about when I was divorced the first time, and I remember feeling the same way. I was 35, and I felt like I’d better hurry up, or I was going to be old and ugly. A friend of mine told me she was talking to a 28 year old she knew, and she was worried that she needed to hurry up or she would never be able to have children. I guess we all feel some anxiety to make something happen.

It’s the sadness that bothers me, though. I feel a great deal of loss from two failed marriages. When I go out to meet someone new, I just hate that I have to get to know somebody new all over again. I’ve been married a long time (my first marriage was 11.5 years), so I know the comfort of knowing somebody well and being able to rest in their presence. I feel that loss every time I have to meet somebody new. And, if I meet some new people and get frustrated that I’m not meeting the kind of men I want to meet, I start to really feel that loss. It can send me into a tailspin.

When I’m actively dating, and I take breaks frequently just to live my life and get grounded again, I have to keep some friends on speed dial. Sometimes I have to vent about somebody that treated me badly. Other times, I have to get some perspective. Sometimes I need somebody to talk me down off a ledge. Early on, though, I found something that really made me put dating in perspective. I found 31 Excellent Reasons to Date on Lisa Shield’s website. She’s a dating coach, and she has some great dating tips. What stoked me about this list is that dating can be used to develop myself and further develop my life and relationship skills. I may or may not ever find another life partner. I’m very well prepared for that to be the case because I’m more limited in what I can handle, AND I love being single. It would have to be the right relationship for me to give up my current life. But, these 31 Excellent Reasons to Date give me some other things to focus on while I’m “kissing frogs”. Maybe it will inspire you to get out there and take some risks, too. Besides, it takes the pressure off finding “Mr. Right”, and dating will become much more lighthearted and fun.

31 Excellent Reasons to Date from

1.  To find a life partner.
2.  To learn how to be vulnerable.
3.  To expand your capacity to give and receive love.
4.  To have fun.
5.  To meet new people.
6.  To get out and explore your city.
7.  To practice being more forgiving.
8.  To find the best possible partner.
9.  To learn how to speak up for yourself.
10. To practice setting and maintaining healthy boundaries.
11. To stop listening Imaginary Frenemy and all the other critical voices.
12. To face your fears.
13. To practice speaking your truth without making the other person wrong.
14. To practice being playful and at ease with people you find attractive.
15. To decide what you do and do not want in a partner.
16. To get to know yourself better.
17. To learn to take responsibility for your actions and choices.
18. To become more attractive.
19. To practice being in the moment.
20. To better trust others and yourself.
21. To practice letting go of control.
22. To practice letting go of judgments.
23. To practice being kind and loving, no matter how others behave.
24. To practice trusting your own instincts.
25. To learn how to reject others and be rejected.
26. To learn how and when to walk away.
27. To learn how to be disappointed and still keep going toward your dream.
28. To practice being more spontaneous and open to change.
29. To practice listening to understand rather than to be understood.
30. To heal old wounds and let go of habitual patterns.
31. To learn to love and be loved.

10 Comments on “Refocusing the Dating Game

    • I was sort of blown away when I saw that list, and realized there could be other reasons to date. I sort of knew it and was focusing on a few anyway, like standing up for myself, but I didn’t entirely see how rich of a learning environment it really was. And, writing about my feelings last night certainly helped me feel better to boot.

  1. Good insight into your feelings. It’s wonderful when I can figure out what is making me feel so scattered. You can call me anytime if you need a shoulder to cry on or lean on!

  2. It seems like dating would raise your hopes, and that the disappointment would be difficult to handle. Your willingness to open your heart and risk the pain (of disappointment and/or rejection as you mention) proves that you have courage!

  3. Sharon, I know what you mean. I thought the same way – running out of time. I hated online dating, but you know what? it’s how I met the man of my dreams, and he is five years younger than me (not that it’s a big deal). He is the one who said “you have plenty of time – you are young!”
    I’m 53 🙂
    Hang in there!

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