The Lone Ranger never got brave enough to try a committed, romantic relationship. He had his four legged friend and his best friend, Tonto. But his show was only 30 minutes long too.
Our lives aren’t lived quick so quickly and many of us want to have a warm, safe home and a pair of loving, eager arms to retire into after a long day on the range.
If you have been riding solo for awhile and are ready to take off the Lone Ranger mask and make a homestead happen, then this blog post is for you.
After many years of working in the divorce recovery arena, I have significant experience with working with women who have been devastated by divorce, spent a good solid amount of time steering clear of jumping into a “bandaid” relationship, getting clear on who they are and what they really want and then as time goes on they start to realize that they might actually be ready to (gasp) try dating again.
For women fresh off of a painful ending, dating sounds like madness.
For women who are in the midst of loneliness and pain, having another dating relationship (or more) hanging on the line is a highly effective (although temporary) distraction and intoxicating elixir that numbs even the worst feelings, for now.
For women who have worked through the healing of painful endings and are solid in themselves, dating may sound like a nice addition to an already good life.
This blog post is for the latter group.
You know if this is you. You have been single awhile. You like who you are. You are your own best friend who is just looking to add to the already present awesomeness with more and different awesomeness that someone else special brings. Or perhaps you would just enjoy seeing a movie with someone else once in a while. Either works for me!
A Little Advice
So, here is some very sound advice for those happily single people who are considering adding to their lives through dating:
1. Respect yourself first. Dating someone else can be a heady experience. It is easy to slip into the “I hope he/she likes me” mind set which can sneak up on you and blur your previously set edges of what is okay and what is not. People who respect themselves first dress themselves as a matter of self-expression and self-care – not as a matter of peacockery (your plumage doesn’t need to be visible for other people to be attracted to you). People who respect themselves first, respect their own time. They are not always available to someone else (if it feels like a booty call, it is).
2. Know your values and don’t compromise on them. Not sure of your values? Take a quick assessment, get clear on what is important to you so you can not only live by them, but you can accurately talk about them to someone else.
3. Be present focused. While it may seem like it goes without saying, bringing up prior relationships and stories of ex-lovers is NOT constructive dating conversation. You might think it is necessary in order to “get to know each other”, but make sure you are not in the story telling loop of the past. Be present. Stay aware from comparisons. See who is there with you now.
4. Stay positive. What this really means is to watch your frame of mind and your focus of conversation. Staying positive is the equivalent of not being negative. This means, resist the temptation to make comments about the poorly dressed and ill mannered people at the bar across the room. Have positive, productive things to notice and talk about and let your best self shine. Dating is not the same as being in a committed, fully formed relationship. In the dating stage, you want to keep your focus on the being the kind of person you want to be; not the person who is judgmental or harsh on others.
5. Be you. Now that I have suggested that you be positive and the lighter, more curious side of you, I want to emphasize the point of being YOU. Yes, you have a darker, negative side (we all do). In the dating scene, make sure you don’t give that side more energy that necessary. Dating can be nerve wracking already…there is no need to fee that energy by focusing in on it. Find the good and best parts of you and use this time to let them shine. Take some time to reflect on what kind of person you would most like to hang out with and be that person. The worst that will happen is you will enjoy yourself.
Go forth and live! Hi Ho!