Dating in your forties

About a year into my break up an old friend reached out on Facebook.  He made me laugh, supported me when I was at my lowest and we flirted a little online.  It was fun, innocent (well not all that innocent – see chapter ‘Is it still sexting if you’re correcting their grammar!‘…coming soon) and for the first time, in a really long time, I felt young and desirable again.  What I hadn’t counted on, was that I was just not ready.

We went out once and it was pretty obvious fairly quickly, that after years of working from home with nobody to talk to but the dog all day, I’d lost my ability to hold a decent conversation.  I was boring.  I could hear myself be boring and it made me want to curl up into a ball.  It was awful.  There’s always one dull person at a party and if you don’t know which one it is…..it’s you!

I realised that if I’m going to date again in my 40s, I needed to be ready for it.  I needed to get rid of the baggage of the past and I needed to vastly improve my feelings of self-worth and confidence.   I also needed to get some hobbies so I had something to talk about!

My friend was brilliant.  He totally understood and I will be forever grateful that he helped me realise I could have a future that didn’t comprise of just knitting and radio plays.

That was nearly four years ago and it’s taken until now for me to crawl out of my tortoise shell, increase my feelings of self-worth and look again at my future.

So, I’ve been listening to my Anthony Robbins tapes again.  His advice for attracting romance and love in your life makes total sense to me.  I have to work on me long before I look for someone else.  I have to be completely ok on my own, comfortable in my own skin, present in my own life, with interests and hobbies that complete me.  Only then can I get really clear about what it is I am looking for in a partner and what kind of woman I would have to be, to attract that.

The advice totally fits with my new Project Me ethos.  One of the exercises he tells you to do is make a list of all your positive character traits.  If you’ve never done it you should try it yourself.  Go on.  Grab yourself a pen and write every positive quality about yourself, don’t be modest and don’t ask others what they think of you.  It’s so important that you do this for you, so you know deep down in your gut what you bring to the table.    Under no circumstances must you add any negative traits, there’s more than enough negativity in the world without adding any more.

Today this is my list:

  • Ability to prioritise
  • Active
  • Affectionate
  • Analytical
  • Approachable
  • Articulate
  • Considerate
  • Creative
  • Driven
  • Easy going
  • Empathetic
  • Financially solvent
  • Friendly
  • Funny
  • Generous
  • Grounded
  • Helpful
  • Intelligent
  • Intuitive
  • Kind
  • Laid back
  • Love of family
  • Loving
  • Loyal
  • Motivated
  • Musical
  • Nurturing
  • Organised
  • Passionate
  • Patient
  • Positive
  • Proactive
  • Quick witted
  • Reliable
  • Resilient
  • Respectable
  • Respectful
  • Responsible
  • Sense of humour
  • Solvent
  • Spiritual
  • Supportive
  • Team player
  • Thoughtful
  • Timely
  • Trustworthy
  • Well mannered

I should perhaps add that I’m a great list maker, you may have noticed that I alphabetized it too!  Not sure if that comes under organised, helpful or just plain OCD!

The next exercise is to list everything you want in a potential partner and I have to admit, every one of the qualities on my list came up plus a few more.  Who wouldn’t, they’re great qualities.  Of course, if he were exceptional at DIY, gardening and mechanics too that would be a billy bonus!

Looking at my lists it’s easy to see why some of these character traits are important, and why some of my past relationships haven’t lasted.  Just as I didn’t have qualities they were subconsciously looking for, they didn’t for me.

The final exercise is to write down everything you’d like your life to be.  Imagine it down to the smallest detail.  Is it filled with passion, fun, laughter, mutual respect, a lively social life, quiet nights in?  Get really clear on how you see your life, how it’ll feel to be with that person and keep revisiting the list.

Now I’m clear on what I want and why I want it, the next step is to work out where to find it or have it find you.

NEXT STEPS FOR PROJECT ME…. Online dating Yes/No?

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