As published on Huffington Post
I had a client the other day that was dealing with some dating issues and as I sat there brainstorming with her, I had déjà vu. I had heard this story several times before and I want to share with you the results of our session.
Let’s face it, people, dating in your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s is no easy task, but I firmly believe we make it more difficult than it has to be. I hear women all the time tell me it’s a battlefield out there and I in turn say what Joyce Meyer says, “The battlefield is in your mind.”
This particular client had gone on two dates with someone she was attracted to along with feeling they had everything in common. She did feel, however, that he was not into her. On the third date the venue lent itself to her getting dressed up and, according to her, this posed a dilemma for her date. His story is that on the first date he felt she was not into him, so he started viewing her as a friend. However, seeing her dressed up knocked his socks off and now he doesn’t know which direction to take this in. He proceeds to give her ‘mixed messages’ by holding her hand and kissing her. At this point, she is frustrated and disappointed because, quite honestly, she has already built a story in her mind as to what she wants it to be. At the end, she is trying desperately to understand his reasoning and figure it out.
There are several things at play here. Let’s look at each one.
– Assumptions are dangerous. Just because you felt a connection and/or had a good time doesn’t mean the other person feels the same way.
– NO stories. Deal with the here and now and save the daydreaming for further along in the relationship. This is where women create the most angst for themselves.
– Listen to what he is saying and do not try to make it what you want to hear. If he is telling you he doesn’t know what he wants, take that at face value and don’t put your life on hold while he is trying to decide. As hurtful as it may be, he might not feel the same way and doesn’t know how to tell you. Keep moving. Bottom line is a guy will go after what he wants.
– Don’t try to convince him or sway his decision. You want someone who will jump over the fence to be with you, not sit on it. You need to be on the same page.
– Perspective is paramount. As disappointed as you may be, this is someone you just met and there are other people out there whom you will feel connected to and who will be a good fit.
– Acceptance is key. When you get hooked into trying to figure it out and understand it in order to let it go, you are going down a deep, deep well. Accept that you might not ever understand and that the reasons don’t really matter; the end result is the same, he doesn’t want what you want.
– Don’t jump to conclusions. Let things unfold naturally and don’t force things. You might be doing yourself and the relationship an injustice.
– Last but not least, don’t put your heart in the path of hurt. If he only wants to be friends and you still have feelings for him, save the palling around for when you have been able to hit the reset button on your feelings.
Remember, your thoughts are what bring on your feelings. Control your thoughts and the dating world will be easier to navigate.