Whether you are single or separated or a plain heartbroken person who may have sworn-off dating completely, there’s hope. ANISA HASSAN advises that once you’ve found complete closure, have some time to think through the important, non-negotiable attributes you’re looking for in the next person
How many times have you heard the phrase, “All the good partners are taken. All my friends are happily married, there seems to be no one left.”
This seems to be the number one excuse given by people who are:
- Looking in the wrong places
- Giving up without being pro-active
- Recently heart-broken who have yet to find someone who they can share a loving, committed relationship with.
So if you are “looking in the wrong places”, where should you be looking to find a perfect partner?
Firstly, if you are the type who’ve been looking to find someone special at the usual places – the clubs, the bars and the pubs – my suggestion is look somewhere else. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “Single Club” that you can go to, to order your ideal match. If you could just order your, “Tall, tanned, good looking, generous, smart match” don’t you think you and everyone else would be there already?
Try looking in the non-usual places. There are plenty of people out there in your situation it is just a matter of finding them. Talk to people, as many people as you can. There are many more opportunities to socialise than at the usual ‘hang-outs’.
Just as much as people (women particularly) love to huddle up to talk about the peaks and valleys of relationships, it’s important not to be influenced by other people’s misfortunes. Don’t put your love life on hold, simply because your good friends have been emotionally bruised will not at all help you find the person of your dreams. You should not rob yourself of the experience
of dating and being vulnerable just because ‘others had-it-bad’.
Take a risk and put yourself in a position to find love.
So take a step back and ask “Where can I find a good match for me?” rather than “Why are all the good ones gone?” You’ll be amazed at how you’ll start to find the answers you are looking for.
For the recently heartbroken person who may have sworn-off dating completely, there’s hope. Yes, acknowledge that the breakup was painful, frustrating or even embarrassing. After all, you have invested emotionally in it. Still, lessons could be drawn from that episode and you could emerge the wiser from it.
Once you’ve found complete closure, have some time to think through the important, non-negotiable attributes you’re looking for in the next person.
It would help if you list them down and be completely honest with yourself. Then, leave no stones unturned. Tell your closest friends, you’re single again and are looking to meet decent wholesome people who will be good for you. If they have your best interests at heart, they’ll help you in your quest.
Lose your inhibitions and don’t be embarrassed. You are not the first single person above the age of 40. In fact you will find the harder you look and make an effort how many people are in your situation. Lots of people have reached the age of 40 and have invested all their time and effort in their careers. They reach that important time in their life at the age of 40, and realise they have achieved all they had wanted from their career and they then begin to assess how to complete their lives with a partner and family.
You need to put yourself in the position to find love. I stress again don’t be embarrassed about being single. Trust me you are not the first and will definitely not be the last.
Tell your dry cleaners, hairstylists, masseuse, Starbucks baristas, teachers, coaches, yoga instructors. Do whatever it takes to improve your odds of meeting someone new and interesting. There are still millions of single people out there and chances are, they’re also looking. So go on, ask for help… you’ll never know who you’ll meet next.
Once you have met someone new, don’t take it for granted. You need to work hard to make it work.
Over the years with I have organised thousands of first dates for my clients, and if there is anything I know it is the ‘first date mistake’. Below are some of my tips to help you navigate the first date and move on to a second.
1 Putting a price on love
Avoid all financial discussion on the first date, it gives off the wrong impression. There’s nothing more boring than a date who boasts about their achievements and the size of their pay packet. In the end that is going to attract the wrong sort of partner for you.
2 Dressing inappropriately
Show up in your jeans and t-shirt for sushi, and you’re saying you don’t care what your date thinks about your appearance. Wear a cocktail dress or a tuxedo when you meet them at the corner burger joint and you’re saying you’re confused. Ask where you’re going to meet, and if you’re uncertain about the ambience, ring the venue and ask what the dress code is. Oh, and remember the stilettos, or for the boys make sure your belt matches your shoes, women notice the little things.
3 The dreaded family history
Your mom was mean to you. Your dad is an emotional cripple. Your brother is an alcoholic. And you’re feeling frightened that even 10 more years of therapy won’t lift the crushing malaise heaped on your shoulders? Honestly, your date doesn’t need to know any of this. It’s a first date. It’s like rolling out the red carpet into hell.
4 Analysing the ex
This one is difficult to avoid, as it’s a common question posed by your date. The preferred posture here is one of mild regret, hard-earned wisdom and cool disinterest. “We were headed in different directions” works, as does “I think I’m a different person now, interested in different things.” Although these answers are vague, the first date is not the time to delve into the ex-file.
5 Dirty talk
If you’re interested in finding a long term partner at all costs you need to avoid dirty talk on your date.While dirty talk may not make your date run in the opposite direction. On the contrary, it may make them even more interested. Truth is a good relationship starts on discussion of dreams, hope and ambitions. So you might want to hold the sex stuff for later…
6 Sharing your love for marriage or children
You yearn for a deep connection, enduring love and a partner with whom you can be together with for the rest of your life? That’s sweet. That’s really, really sweet. The problem is, if you talk about it on a first date, chances are you’re going to frighten them away.
Then, there’s always this disclaimer. “But isn’t it self-defeating and dishonest to withhold information from a person in whom you’re interested?” Well, yeah, if neither one of you ever opens up.
If you find yourself in a relationship like that, where you can’t express your most genuine self – your hopes and dreams and fears and weaknesses – then you might consider getting out. But it takes time to get into such a relationship. So take your time. Go slow. Breathe.