First Bad Encounters: Second Time Around Fears
My friend Marilyn never had a problem meeting men. She had a witty personality and self-confidence that kept members of the opposite sex engaged. Her long blond locks and athletic legs further improved her chance of meeting eligible bachelors.
Yet, what people saw in her on the outside didn't match the inside. She was approaching her mid-fifties and a divorced mom of two. Her marriage ended four years ago after twenty-five years.
Given that 75% of people who divorce remarry in five years, the odds are in her favor even if the idea of a having a committed relationship leaves her feeling like she's applying for her learners permit all over again.
Many people find it scarier meeting a potential partner the second-time around. Failed relationships from the past can leave big holes in a person's self-esteem. There's an underlying fear about making another relationship mistake. For many second-timers, the scariest part is figuring out where to meet someone, particularly when the modern world is now connecting impersonally through Blackberries and Facebook. Gone are the days of going out to bars to find a date. It's now done in the comfort of our living room, in our pajamas, with a cup of hot chocolate in our hand and Fear Factor playing in the background.
Instead of playing into your fears, boost your courage to re-enter the dating scene by focusing on the positive:
Relationship Pro: You've been in a long-term relationship, which means you're a step ahead of knowing what you want in a partner and what you don't. Make a list; check it twice. What are the qualities and traits you're searching for in a mate? What are the deal-breakers? Be honest with yourself in order to meet someone who helps fade those fears away.
Night on the Town: For both men and women, there's something magical about getting ready for a night out. Maybe it's the pre-date routine of picking out the right clothes, choosing the right scent and allowing someone else to be the cook. Even if you're afraid of getting involved, there's something emotionally healthy about the way you feel when you get all dressed up. Think about what it's like to be desired; positive thoughts can boost your self-esteem.
Meet New Friends: Even if your date doesn't turn out to be husband or wife material, chances are you'll join new groups and activities that will connect you with like-minded people while you're having fun. Sign up for the French cooking class or Salsa dancing lesson that you've always wanted to take. Meeting someone through a natural conversation can help you get over your jitters.
For Marilyn, she eased her way back into dating by making a promise to herself to postpone her feelings of fear for a few hours. This allowed her to enjoy herself on the date without denying the emotions that she was having inside. Within months, she met a man in her tennis club and they've been dating ever since.
Many people have a fear of dating the second-time around. The best advice is take it slow; one date at a time.
Lori Bizzoco is a writer, journalist and blogger living in Brooklyn, NY. She is working on her memoir-in-progress, Single to Baby
By Lori Bizzoco for OurTime.com
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