7 Surprising Mindsets For When You Start Dating Again
No matter what your age is, getting into dating can be an intimidating experience. Perhaps you’re in your 20s and just looking to get out there. Maybe you’re in your 30s and bouncing back after bad dating experiences. You could be in your 40s, 50s and 60s and looking to find love again. Regardless, age is just a number. With the right mindset, it’s truly irrelevant in dating.
In fact, the right mindsets with regard to all aspects of dating will get you up, out and ready to find love. To start, ask yourself what your current beliefs are about dating and yourself within the arena.
Write them down if you need to for clarity. Do your responses sound negative? Outdated? Insecure? Fearful? Note that these responses are not necessarily truths. More often than not, they’re ingrained mindsets that you can easily change, in order to attract more positive results.
Here are seven surprising mindsets that will put you on the right track.
1. I’m Single, And Will Be For The Foreseeable Future
This one sounds a bit crazy, right? After all, what’s the point of dating if you’re expecting to stay single? However, in the beginning, a ‘single but dating’ mindset ensures you don’t sell yourself on guys who may not be right for you. It keeps you mindful of the fact that, even if there aren’t many guys around right now, there’s no need to get ahead of yourself.
Why don’t you want to get ahead of yourself? Because you need to take the time to qualify a man properly, based on his actions. You don’t want to jump in with the first available guy, just because he’s available. Often, doing so leads to the very things you fear, whether it’s rejection, awkward situations or a string of disappointing dates.
What you need to do, is embrace being single wholeheartedly. That way you can enjoy all the benefits – like dating – with total enthusiasm. Don’t look ahead beyond the fact that what you’re doing right now, is loving single life and dating when you wish. To really make the most of being single, deliberately do all the things that you often need to compromise on in relationships.
Paint your walls any colour you like, focus all of your time and energy on a hobby you love or a goal you want to kick or spend hours binging on rom-coms. Have gratitude that you come and go as you please, without having to take a partner into consideration. While you may be looking for love and companionship, remember that many people in partnerships are looking back at single life as one of their most enjoyable phases.
Don’t miss out on yours, even if you’re doing it for the 50th time.
2. I Reward Myself For Action Taken, Rather Than Riding My Results
You might be surprised to hear that result-oriented thinking isn’t always the best way to go in life. In fact, looking to results rather than the journey you’re on is usually what leads to disappointment. Most great things in life require failure before success and dating is no different. While it’s true that some women meet Mr Right early on, most have to meet quite a few Mr Wrongs along the way.
However, a date with Mr Wrong always means you’re one date closer to Mr Right. This is true in a practical sense, as taking consistent action can’t help but lead to results. But, it’s also true in finding out what you really want from a partner. For example, maybe you’re attracted to a man’s profile because he appears very career-minded, stable and safe.
“Looking to results rather than the journey you’re on is usually what leads to disappointment.”
These attributes are on your mental criteria list because your last partner cheated on you, never had any money and left you feeling insecure. You jump at the chance for a date. An hour into dinner, you’ve already stopped yourself from yawning 20 times and are considering leaving if he mentions the word ‘investment’ one more time. You find yourself craving warmth, a spark, some cheekiness.
What’s happening? You’re broadening your horizons on the spot, through experience. You’re realising that qualifying the right man for you isn’t as black and white as your ‘attributes of Mr Right’ list might imply. You’re learning and growing. Reward yourself for taking the action and being brave enough to do so, rather than relying on results to validate yourself.
3. High Standards Start With An Open Mind
Back to that ‘attributes of Mr Right’ list you may have as a mental concept or resolutely stuck to your fridge. When you start dating or re-enter the scene, being too picky at the beginning is a huge mistake. It means you won’t go out on many dates and you’ll rule out potentially lovely, awesome men without having had the chance to meet them.
You don’t really know how you’re going to feel about a guy, until you meet him. A man who ticks all your boxes might be the biggest player in town – a good job and profile write up about his love for dogs is no indication. Or, you could meet up with a guy who only ticks a few of your perceived desires and fireworks explode the minute you make eye contact.
Your standards should be loosest at the beginning and get higher and higher from there, once you’ve formed a real connection. Don’t miss your chance at meeting someone amazing, simply because of a narrow mindset. Love comes in such a variety of forms that you could spend many lives exploring them. When you put your future experiences in a box before you even get to them, you’ll stay stuck forever in the same patterns.
4. Each New Man Is A Blank Slate
If you’ve had a run of bad experiences in dating, in can become really easy to generalise. This happens across all areas of life, as our brains are wired to put boxes around things to help us understand them. If this wasn’t the case, we’d feel totally overwhelmed with all the possibilities available.
The problem is, generalisations are often automatically made by our brains by simply referencing past experiences and emotions. Without examining our experiences to understand whether they’ve been good or bad for us, just one bad one can lead to misguided mindsets, even if that experience proved beneficial in terms of personal growth.
One of the most common examples of this is women who believe all men cheat, because they’ve been cheated on. If that’s you, you’re going to head into every date with a negative mindset that’ll automatically sabotage the experience. Make sure you give every man you date a clean slate. He deserves it, and so do you.
5. Dating Is Not A Means To An End, But An End Unto Itself
Much like embracing single life for what it is, it’s very important to understand that dating is a stand-alone activity, within itself. Though you might be dating to find a partner, it’s a mistake to focus on the end result more than the actual dating. When you see dating as a means to an end, you’ll try to rush through it as quickly as possible and things won’t develop naturally.
For one, this urge often leads to settling for a man who’s not the best choice for you. Worse though, is that men don’t usually enter dating with the aim to find commitment, so you’ll be on the wrong page from the outset. Men tend to sell themselves on the idea of relationships over time, when they meet a woman they can’t stop thinking about. It’s a natural progression and one that can’t be hurried.
“It’s very important to understand that dating is a stand-alone activity, within itself. Though you might be dating to find a partner, it’s a mistake to focus on the end result more than the actual dating.”
So, that sense of urgency could actually set you up for disaster. A great example of this is when you have a fantastic date and you know that a guy is into you too. A week later, after you’ve texted him 30 times, called a few times and maybe even expressed disappointment that he hasn’t been available, he disappears.
In your hurry to forge a connection and move things forward, you haven’t given him a chance to go on his own journey with it. Unfortunately, after the tenth text you’ve initiated, he’s already running for the hills because it’s so obvious that you’re after something – the end result. Do dating for dating’s sake and leave the rest up to natural progression.
6. Bad Dates Are Something To Laugh At
Be honest, you’ve spent a good deal of time laughing at stories about bad dates, right? Everyone has one and entire movies and TV shows are based around them. Knowing this, why do we tend to take dating so seriously? Nearly all of us are going to have some awkward dates. Maybe even downright awful ones.
You might meet the guy who keeps staring at your breasts, the one who won’t stop talking about his car and the jerk who launches into a convo about his whipped cream fetishes. You’ll feel pissed off, deflated and burnt out. That is, unless you understand that this is just you living your own funny dating stories that someone will laugh at one day.
Make that day today and you’ll see these scenarios for what they are – transient moments in time that you wouldn’t necessarily choose, but that certainly add to your repertoire of dinner party stories.
7. It Only Takes One
The thing that we all forget when we’re going through a rough patch is the fact that dating is a game you can lose 99 times, win once, and still be a winner overall. You never know when your last year, month, week, day or even moment of single life will be.
We spend far too much time looking back on failure. Yes, it can be hard to keep plodding on without a hint of success. However, keep bouncing back and you keep yourself in the loop, with a sense of anticipation. Around every corner is a new situation that you’ll either learn, benefit or gain a different perspective from.
Once you’ve met the right man and settled into commitment, you’ll find yourself looking back wondering what all the fuss was about. And, I guarantee you’ll look back on your single days with a sense of nostalgia.