I recently received an email and with her permission, she allowed me to share it with you. Here goes:
I have been separated for 2 years (divorce still pending), and now I am dating. When I first started dating, I was confident and didn’t care what the outcome was with my dates. But I find that if I have more than two dates with someone, I get paranoid as to when they’re going to call me, or if they don’t call at all, I get so upset! I hardly recognize myself anymore. And before I was divorced, men used to hit on me all the time – but now that I’m single, I hardly see it. It’s almost I was more confident when I was unhappily married than I am now. Why is that? I feel like there is no hope for me!
Shannon (name changed for privacy)
Oh, dearest Shannon (and anyone else plagued by the lack of confidence) – I remember those days well. It’s the old adage of a “watched pot never boils” or “when you’re least expecting it, love finds you.”
So here you are, all ready and willing to date, but now you’re mojo is off! But here’s what’s really going on – you’re relating “confidence” to dating, and you’re transferring your power to another.
Let’s break both of those down:
Feeling confident is not the result of something happening – it’s a feeling that should be rooted within YOU, no matter what happens. So when someone doesn’t call you (even after a couple of great dates), your attitude should be – “He must not be ready to date, or perhaps he has commitment issues. And I don’t want someone like that! I just dodged a bullet!” You’re fine with who you are, no matter who calls you, or who doesn’t.
When you transfer your power to another, you’re basically giving that person permission to dictate your life, your mood, and your daily attitude – and unless that person is a narcissist, no one really wants that role.
Here’s an example – Have you ever tried to sell something because you really, really needed the money? You’re so desperate to have that sale, you’re even willing to go less on the face value and thus, your buyer is now totally in control. Here, you give away your power to the buyer, and boy, do they know it.
Conversely, have you ever sold something that you could really care less on whether it sold or not? I bet you got it for MORE money, or you had multiple offers on it. You maintained full control and power, people wanted it even MORE!
Dating is the same way. You don’t have to be desperate for your date to pick up on the fact that you want them – and with so little words, it could be a turn off. Just the slightest showing of lack of confidence and they may move on.
So it’s important that dating is a part of your life, but not your entire life. You’ll be fine if they don’t call, because you’re busy doing other things. Or perhaps your DVR is full of recorded episodes and you’re going to have a date night with yourself.
Confidence means you’re fine whether or not your Saturday night is booked. Don’t allow dating to fill a void in your life – YOU must fill it with other things. Because when that guy cancels on you, you will feel the void even more – you’ll start beating yourself up, thinking horrible things, and wondering if you should have ever gotten that divorce at all.
Dating is a lot like job interviewing – it’s always better to interview for a job when you have a job, right? Because it’s easy to pick and choose the right job versus being desperate for one. Ask yourself why you’re dating. Your answer should be, “Because it’s fun. I get to meet new people. I like to go out and try new things” not, “Because I’m lonely. Everyone has a partner except for me. Unless I’m on a date, I do nothing exciting.”
If your answer is the latter, take a break from dating – try dating you first. If you’re not comfortable with that, then why would anyone else want to date you?
Confidence comes from within, and not from another person. And once you own it, be prepared for multiple offers, and pick and choose the right ones! Have fun with it.